My decision to move out of New York City this past August came as a surprise to many of my friends and acquaintances and colleagues. Perhaps most of all to me. But even the most die hard New Yorkers I knew were wiling to grant that a plan to quit the city’s cooked pee summer streets for clean country air had a certain logic to it.
But seasons do change, I was reminded, and then what would I do in the dark and dreary winter, when the world would be leached of all color? Then I would pay the price for those mid-day dips in the swimming hole, and afternoon snacks of blueberries picked in my garden, and evening jogs without the risk of bronchitis or heat stroke, and sweater nights on the porch watching the stars.
The price for all of that pleasure would be bleak winter misery.
So it has been a surprise to me that the winter has not been bleak in the least. There have been gray days, of course, but the winter landscape here in New York’s Taconics has more than compensated. I am enjoying the bare musculature of the trees, the roll of the corn fields plowed, and the sight of houses that are in the warmer months hidden by leaves.
These are the pleasures of a black and white photograph, a sort of stark pleasure which I suppose I could have guessed I’d have enjoyed, even in summer. The actual startle has been at how much color I’m finding when I wander, and how much I can appreciate these single instances of color when there aren’t as many gaudy distractions.
In the spirit of Kerry’s quiet winter moment, here are a few of my moments from the Harlem Valley Rail Trail last weekend. Each would be possible in another season, but would I have noticed the green, red and blue, or even the beauty of the shades of gray?
Alison J. Stein
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