Some days I look out our window and notice clouds covering the mountaintops across the lake. On sunny days they move along as the day warms up, but on overcast days they tend to linger. Sometimes those clouds are pregnant with snow; but more often they are only mist, cloaking everything in their path with silence.
We had one of those days last week, as a cloud slowly enveloped our mountain and made everything still. The light streaming through the windows gradually darkened until it felt like dusk, and the lake disappeared.
Soon we could barely see the trees at the edge of our property as the mist thickened and rolled.
I slipped out the front door into the silence, camera in hand, beckoned by the lack of color and the layers of grayness that transformed the fluffy green trees into flat gray shapes of varying hues.
Walking down our lane, the silence was complete, save for a steady thwock-thwock-thwock that came from the trees ahead, much like the sound of a hatchet on wood.
I crept ahead slowly, searching the trees for the source of the sound, and finally discovered its source.
Can you see it? Hidden there in the trees? Look a little closer...
A woodpecker hard at work, drilling for insects, was the only creature moving in the stillness that day.
I stopped and looked back at the house, shrouded in mist, and realized if I kept exploring I might lose myself in the trees and have to rely on my own footprints in the snow to find my way home.
So I turned back, shoes crunching through the snow, my pace quickening as I neared the house for I could see the smoke billowing from the fireplace, its promise of warmth luring me home.
Later I peeked outside and found that our solitude was complete...the mist had completely enshrouded our house; there was nothing visible past our deck railing. Night came earlier than usual.
The next morning the sun rose, the birds chirped, and all was back to normal on the mountain.