The Light Upstate
The light in general here in the Great Lakes area is pale, alien and dull past morning and before dusk, even on clear, sunny days. The quality of the light is seldom warm and rich. I do not know why it feels this way but I’ll warrant it has something to with the fact that we humans did not arise around here. We were equatorial where the rays slant down straight and don’t bounce so quickly away. These huge freshwater puddles up here constantly vaporizing don’t help. Van Gogh fled from the Netherlands down to the South of France and drowned himself in the liquid light.
But it’s fine in the forests here, especially at dawn or dusk, where the verticality of the trunks and every-which-way-ness of the leaves combs out the light and lets it fall like soft gold rain.
My wife has a garden full of flowers and flowering bushes the names of which slip away from me so much faster than other types of facts. It’s as if at night lying next to her their names evaporate in the heat of her passion for them. (Or are they like sunflower seeds and she a nocturnal cardinal?)
Every few weeks she takes me out there in the morning and refills the empty spaces they left behind. In return, whenever I pass I pull weeds.