a year of morning thanks
It takes some clouds to make a spectacular dawn, which is its own kind of sermon, I'd guess. Lately, Saturdays have been crystalline, the sun rising like some irridescent smudge in the east. Not much drama really, and very little color.
We're in the season of "farch" too, which doesn't help. The snow that's left along roadsides looks for all the world like dead sheep, a simile I've stolen from Jim Heynen. There just isn't much color.
I hiked down to the Big Sioux River yesterday and crashed through tented ice for more than 100 yards, finally making it to the banks, where the noise was remarkable. I was the only human being around, and the deer were likely scared to death. An ice jam had occured on Thursday, sending the river up; Friday that jam broke, the water went down, but the ice stayed to mark the flood level. Seriously, explosions of cracking ice happened every thirty seconds or so. I hiked about a mile for a shot I was going to try to get, a shot that didn't materialize simply because I couldn't get where I wanted to because in some places water was still setting beneath the surface of ice. You can see the ice I'm talking about in the picture above, just along the bank of the river on the other side.
By then the sun was up so if I was going to make a morning of it, I was going to have to find something other than a colorful eastern sky. I stumbled on an abandoned house, a place I must have passed a half dozen times before but never took the time to explore. The sun was right, so I got out and walked around. Outside the old storm cellar, a open book lay, a kid's encyclopedia, frozen in the grass. See it for yourself it in the bottom left corner.
Curtains still flagged out of broken windows of the old house. I walked up, shooting away, loving the light, looked in through the front window, and found, amazingly, a piano, the only thing left in the old house.
I'd just seen the 1996 movie, Shine, the story of a young pianist who somehow recovers his tremendous gift after suffering emotionals horrors and institutionalization, and that piano seemed an emblem--"Segerstrom Concert Grand, Chicago, it still announces proudly.
That's the story the pictures tell below. There's a sermon in that old piano too, a sermon for which I was thankful yesterday morning, and this.