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A trick of the light

I know it's been barely hours since my last e-mail, so I hope you will excuse me for stuffing up your inboxes 
with more island chatter so quickly.  It seems a bit extravagant of me to be filling your precious time
with things essentially mundane, and yet to me on this bleary, sodden afternoon, sharing them with you seems to 
be as necessary as breathing.  There is nothing so astonishing to share as the birth of giant sea
turtles, nothing so beautiful as a Caribbean sunset, nor again anything frought with adventure as many of my 
recent travels seem to be.  And yet, I hope you find, these everyday things do have their own kind of
Mere footsteps from my sister's home, a converted barn on the land of a largeish riding stables, are a series 
of bridle paths.  These circle the property in wide arcs of burnished bronze, owing to the thick cedar
multch which makes them up, bordered in turns by moss covered slate ledges, undulating pony paddocks, tall 
forest and a narrow silver stream.  Together with the often heavy grey sky, these things form the
background pallet of colours of nearly this entire side of the island - rich, muted, and without exception 
deeply earth-toned.
Now, I am accustomed to colour, as well as to light.  I know how days can become so clear and bright that it 
actually hurts to look at things - the mountains and fields seem to reflect back every bit of sun until
their colours are secondary to the dazzling glare of light bouncing off of them.  Or conversely how, on rainy 
days like today, the entire landscape hunches miserably in on itself and fades to the same dull, uniform
grey as the sky, seeming anxious to disappear altogether and wait for balmier weather.  On those days, a lot of 
people disappear too.  Then, on those rare, fine days when the sun is neither too bright nor too dull,
I know the awestruck thrill of seeing all of mother nature alive and bright and vividly arrayed in a rainbow of 
colours I had almost forgotten existed in the world.  I live for those days.  This is the colour I know,
and the light which affects it so deeply.
I know nothing.
Even today, amidst the driving rain and pervading dampness that is the reality of Victoria in December, the 
world is alive around me.  A particularly captivating stand of trees along the bridle paths gleam gold
against the rich browns and greys of the backdrop surrounding them, as if instead of merely reflecting light, 
they house filaments of it inside very close to the surface, and radiate it constantly.  Each time I catch
sight of them out of the corner of my eyes, I think for a moment that they are actually on fire and am amazed.  
In the hollows of logs along the streambanks, lavender crocuses and tiny violet irises
bloom, colours more vivid for the myriad drops of water pooling on their petals above the loamy earth.  The 
moss that coats rocks and trees alike all along the way is electric green, as if powered by neon,
while along the fence lines clumps of frilly-edged white  mushrooms sprout, bald caps glowing like little 
moons.  Even the arbutus trees perched precariously on each rocky stand are breathtaking, shedding the
unremarkable brown bark that normally clothes them in sheets, and revealing beneath mosaics of scarlet, yellow 
and deep, deep purple like paintings on a museum wall.  
It is impossible, surrounded by so much beauty, to feel anything but beautiful yourself.  This is the trick and 
the magic of the light here I am discovering.  Even shrouded in mist, goodness is revealed.  Perhaps
that should be our intent in all endeavors...
My love to you all.  Roberta