To embark into the dark
No longer are the flashes of headlights streaming across the darkened landscape. Sometimes there is moonlight. But when there is no moon, there is always the dark.
Highway 20â€™s closure in November marks the coming of winter. Temperatures have steadily dropped to near or below freezing both day and night. This past week, the Environmental Learning Center has seen several days of solely sun followed by crisp, star-filled nights. On nights as cold and dark as these, it is easy to stay tucked underneath the comfort of a warm wool blanket, wrapped up in a novel of another world, sipping hot tea.
On nights like these, I find myself desiring to embark into the dark.
With the inspiration of Wendell Berryâ€™s, â€œTo Know the Dark,â€ I indulge my desires by sliding on my boots, zipping up my jacket, and stepping into the night. My destination tonight – Diablo Lake Overlook.
â€œTo go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.â€
At Diablo Lake Overlook, Colonial, Pyramid and Davis Peaks have an air of grander majesty, the moonlight casting shadows across their contours. The lights of Diablo Dam serve as far-off beacons, the entrance into another world. Diablo Lake itself is perfectly still, Thunder Arm reflected in its waters.
To know the dark of the North Cascades in the chill of winter is to be apart of a landscape only seldom touched. Yet, it can be touched, it can still be reached and read. Its magic calls you, alluring you from your warm blanket and hot tea.
Tonight, answer it. See the landscape anew. Embark into the dark.
Diablo Dam illuminates Diablo Lake as Davis Peak dominates the landscape
Sourdough Mountain stands a dark contrast to the moonlight, star-filled sky
The moon shadow of Ruby Mountain reaches up toward Colonial Peak
Clouds begin to shield the star-filled sky as they approach Pyramid Peak
The only company at the Overlook was a snowplow passing by
The author taking in the wild, darkened landscapePhotos courtesy of Kelsi K. Franzen.