Have you heard of it? The Pale Season? I heard it said years ago and it has stuck with me. A long-time Eastern Shore resident once described winter that way and if you stop and look around, it makes sense.
Pale can mean bland but that’s not what I see. I see a new version of a beloved and familiar landscape. The water gives us different shades of blue and green. If you take a long look at the gray winter sky, it’s not really gray at all. White and pink and yellow with patches of blue give a perfect backdrop to the beautiful winter scape our trees put forth. I see the perfect architecture of crowning treetops in the distance. Or up close, the black and brown branches seems to almost come alive again in their dormancy – twisting and turning and telling a story that is lost among the leaves in other seasons.
The magnificence of old tree trunks suddenly comes into focus. Gnarled or stretched tall and thin, they are sculptural and endlessly different and perfect. Taking a wider view, I see marshes and rivers and the bay shoreline with speckles of green in mostly brown and gold marsh grass. These are beautiful moments to experience on a trail, or from a front porch window. We just need to know when it’s time to stop and look. And breathe.