In the Pale Light of Winter #fivewords

Weekly Writing Prompt #175

rypgos

charcoal, shade, pale, wake, lucid

The rain fell, almost silent, but she could hear the little stream, outside, through the open window. She called the instant the lucid wake: those minutes before the first signs of the pale dawn. Then, everything is clear, the events of the past days in sharp relief, as if lit from inside. His smile, the fire on the beach, the shade under the pine trees, the smell of charcoal. But this wasn’t yesterday, it was years ago, her already distant past. And then it had been Summer…

Then the wine had tasted better, the air cleaner, the waves softer. His skin was like the sun itself. Where was he now? The lucid wake: she was alone, all fires long dead.

She could hear the little stream. Winter would end, another Spring would come.

 

Image source: https://wallpapersafari.com/winter-beach-scenes-wallpaper/

Onward #writephoto

Onward

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We stop at the top of the small hill, and look down at the road meandering away from us. The bikes lie on the short grass, next to tall poles that remind us that, here, the snow can erase everything, and level the landscape, but we are too early for it. The air is cold, the pale rays of the winter sun lit the distant crags. Soon the night will fall. We set the tent not far from here, and lit a fire. Tomorrow is another day.

Turning #writephoto

Turning

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Yesterday… We walked in this valley, under the burning sun, hand in hand, believing in the eternal summer. Yesterday, perhaps, more than you, my love, I longed for Autumn, and the fall of leaves. Did I believe Time had stopped? Did I believe Earth was flat, after all?

Or was I inebriated, drunk in our love?

But now, Winter has come, silent, ineluctable: the hills are white with snow, our shoes leave no trace on the frozen ground. Nature has taken back what is hers, the air is cold, yesterday’s azure sky is now deep grey.

The light is out.

Turrets #writephoto

Turrets

pinnacle

 

When we left – how long ago was it? – it was summer. As we look over the tall trees, disappearing through the dark, icy air, we know that, here, wherever “here” is, it’s winter. But we don’t feel the cold, we just know it is.

Through the foliage covered with snow, the vision of a dream-like castle, its spires and turrets, appears, emerging from the mist. Is it a dream, or a nightmare? Are we lost, have we taken the wrong turn, on whatever road we followed?

Are we elsewhere? When did we leave the warmth and light of our city? This world is grey, and, now, we cannot guess what horrors await us.

Magic #writephoto

Magic

leafless

 

“So much light,” you said, “and here is the path, just across the little stream, do you remember?”

I do remember, we walked there, many times, you and me, when we were kids, and later. In all seasons, in winter like this, with sunlight filtering through the trees, reflecting on the snow, our hands in mittens, in spring, our hearts feeling the change in the air, the sounds of birds, and in the long summer evenings…

But it’s late autumn I remember most, the late season when the wind gets colder, when dark clouds gather above the forest. And then, that year…

And then winter was with us, so fast, and one late afternoon, just like this, you kissed me. You did, and I was taken aback, perhaps even a little frightened. Your golden hair, your red lips… It was there, near the stream, never had I had felt such fire in my soul…

We are old now. The fire still burns in our hearts. The forest is still there, and the sun, reflected on the snow.  We walk, hand in hand, listening to the light noises of nature falling asleep.

Glade #writephoto

forest1

 

The air is cool, the ground covered with ferns. The October sun filters through the still dense foliage, the woods are so familiar we are at home here. We know the paths, the old fence that marked the ancient estate, the ruins. We know where to find the long haired cattle, hiding deep, loving winter to come that keeps visitors away. Except us. For we haunt these woods, pale spirits, no longer feeling the winds, nor the icy mornings, shadows of what we once were.

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s today’s photo prompt

Juicy #FridayPrompt

The Prompt

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As the ice melts, as the clouds fly slowly over the lakes, the city holds its breath, wondering if this is the end of Winter. It may not be, but in the woods, we saw a flight of cranes going East. Do they know? The air is still cold, a light rain falls, the sounds of passing traffic feel subdued, as if this were a time of less certainty.

Yesterday, today, soon we will know, perhaps the rain will continue to fall, and we will have to wait for the light, a little longer…

Photo: © 2017 Honoré Dupuis

 

A Walk in Sacrower Schloss Park

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The leafless trees look over the park, serenity reigns. Not quite free of ice, the Havel flows, almost with an excuse: it may be February, but winter is far from over. In the distance, through the mist, one can guess at the Glienicker Brücke, the bridge of spies. Many years have passed since then, since the hideous wall was removed, new trees planted, the park reopened, and the old church finally restored to its simple splendour.

The Schloss is still closed, its windows blind; a few steps away stands the millennium oak, witness to the folly of man. The old, tortured trunk still proud, even if half of it lays on the ground, finally resting. The path leads to the edge of Scarow, and further to the west, deep in the forest that surrounds the lake. There, in Summer, the young, and not so young, bathe and flirt in the nude, in the cleanest water around, under the shade of the trees. Now the woods are almost silent, if it were not for the woodpecker’s tireless effort. Half melted snow still lies on the ground, covered in patches with the small, pale bulbs of snowdrops.

The lake is frozen, the calm waters undisturbed by visitors. Nature is still asleep, and Spring a long way off.

Photo: Oak tree in Sacrower Schloß Park, © 2017 Honoré Dupuis