Late Day at Salt Pond

I went for a late afternoon walk at Salt Pond yesterday with a long legged friend who sauntered easily way ahead, leaving me alone with my thoughts. A good breeze from the northeast kept me cool in this hottest time of day when every surface and object on the south shore begins to radiate back the collected energy of the day.

It’s the time of day when the beach empties out and the low angle of the sun infuses everything in the landscape with a warm glow of gold and exaggerates texture. Every element stands out in sharp definition against a deep shadow on its eastern edge. The dry shrub-land and open grassy areas at Drunk Bay and Salt Pond stand out as a rich tapestry in this light, creating the illusion of a soft sculpted wool carpet. Leaves of marin, sea grape, marble tree, caper, ilex all dwarfed and windswept are burnished by the sun. Each leaf, a different size and shape, is sharply defined by its shadow.

Whenever I walk at the cusp of daylight I am aware of this gift of slanting light, as though the sun’s great burning ball of gas has intent, knows its own importance to the things that grow on this harsh land; knows that in the flood of its mid day stream these leaves wash away, appearing to the eye as one great mass of green. This same sun, so apparently malevolent at noon is generous and loving at early light and late, caressing each leaf and stone, each cactus spire.

In the early morning light I think the sun delivers a long soft embrace then moves solitary through its day to that point before darkness when it again takes the land under its gentle arm, to bed.

© 2010, Jennifer M. Pierce, All Rights Reserved

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