Bones of the Landscape





I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.
~Andrew Wyeth, artist

How endlessly beautiful is woodland in winter!  Today there is a thin mist; just enough to make a background of tender blue mystery three hundred yards away, and to show any defect in the grouping of the near trees.
~ Gertrude Jekyll, British horticulturalist

There is a stumbling reluctance transitioning from a month of advent expectancy to three months of winter dormancy.  Inevitably there is let-down: the watching and waiting is not over after all.  There is profound loneliness knowing the story continues, hidden from view.

We have been stripped naked as the bare trees right now; our bones, like the trees of the landscape, raising up broken branches and healed fractures of previous winter windstorms.  We no longer have anything to hide behind or among,  our defects are plain to see,  our whole story a mystery as yet untold but impossible to conceal.

Here I am, abundantly flawed with pocks and scars, yet renewed once again.  There are hints of new growth to come when the frost abates and the sap thaws.   I am  prepared to wait an eternity if necessary, for the rest of the story.





3 thoughts on “Bones of the Landscape

  1. Thank you again Emily for this beautiful tribute to Mother’s mourning period. Susan in CA

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Interesting thoughts. I’m still caught up in the moment of the news spreading about the birth of our Savior. That the angel of the Lord came upon the shepherds, that the Lord’s glory shone around them as the angel said, Fear not: for I bring you good tidings of great joy. That they shall see a sign in the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger… That there was a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God..Glory to God in the highest! That these shepherds went to see for themselves..finding Mary, Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. Making known to all they saw, sharing what they heard about this babe which is Christ the Lord! Sweet Mary kept these words close in her heart to think about what she had been told.

    Oh, that is what crosses my mind on this 1st day after Christ’s birth. Thank you Lord on High. Thank you Emily for sharing your thoughts of bare bones of the landscape.


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