As I look out the window by my computer screen, my view consists of two halves. The low ridge defines the cut point, an almost perfectly horizontal line. Below that line, everything is defined by darkness, a black screen in which only the lights of passing cars can be seen, along with the round points of yard lights scattered in the distance. If I move my head from left to right, a couple of other lights show up from behind the blocking of the huge branches of the old maple tree at the low edge of the yard.
Above that dark line of the ridge, black forms of tree trunks and branches interlace in stark silhouette against the dawning sky. They weave and sway, pushed by a bitter wind sent from the north. Beyond them, a backlight of rose sets beneath an icy blue. Just in the time of writing these words, the hues have paled to pink and powder. In this fraction of an hour, the light has risen higher and higher. Already, dim forms begin to show in the shadow of the ridge: near buildings, seams of snow running the ditches and banks.
In a little while, the lights will flicker and dim to darkness as the greater light of day shapes the morning. In this peaceful forming, in this silent shifting, we move from rest to labor, giving ourselves to the work of this day, to the lives that we fill. Even in the stinging cold and aching wind, we may send good into this world. We were made for this purpose.