Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15: White Birches

Sometimes some ordinary thing catches my eye and suddenly stands out like it never did before. This evening as I left the office, grey rain clouds loomed behind the trees. But when I looked up to assess the likelihood of rain, I was instantly struck with the whiteness of the birch trunks before me. A small clump of White Birches loomed over the driveway against a dull backdrop of storm clouds. Something about the light, or maybe the contrast with the dirty-looking sky, made the birchbark glow with a pure white you don't normally see in nature. Most of the birches around the office and my house are Grey Birches, which are skinnier, more scraggly, and with less "clean" bark. These tall, healthy White Birches looked as if they were wrapped with paper, they were that white. Even my allergy-hazed eyes, through which I've been squinting at my computer screen all day with some difficulty, could register their very visible beauty. What, besides woodpeckers, might scribble on that paper?

Almost a mirage--
such straight, white birches glowing
against dark storm clouds.

I feel the impulse
to get out my crayons and
color that white bark.

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