the shape of the earth

Each evening, Dan and I take Highway 20 north out of town, past the last of the restaurants and dry cleaners and gas stations, around the bend where Mount Erie briefly shows its antennaed head, past the meadow, over the hill with evergreens to the east, and then the whole landscape opens up to a plain. On the west side of the highway spread fields, fertile with strawberries and the earliest of the raspberries. Near the highway sits a broad, low building where Dugualla Bay Farms sells its produce. To the east, a herd of cattle grazes, and beyond that Dugualla Bay stretches until it becomes the hazy far shore.

If we’re lucky, there are no clouds to obscure and the whole vision is struck by the setting sun, its long warm rays setting the field afire, turning each of the cattle copper or bronze, pressing farther east to clear the haze and strike Baker white-gold above the clouds.

We turn east from the 20 onto Frostad, which threads between white farmhouses, lit up like miniature mountains against Baker. Everything darkens momentarily as the trees cluster and we turn north.

But then, the scene bursts wide again. To the west, beyond the dark specks of cattle, beyond the farm with its unseen berries, jets swoop down to the landing strip. Eastward, if it’s high tide, the bay feels full and satisfied, and the water holds barely still to glint with sunlight.

If the tide is out, then the sand is mucky and patchy green and a channel winds from the road to the water, exposing the curves of the seabed. High tide is cleaner and prettier, but low tide lets us in on the secret shape of the earth.

To me, these photographs feel warm and fill me with fondness for this place.  But I worry that, rather than being shot through with magic light, they’ve turned out flat and too composed.

I hope a robust sun inhabits your imaginations so that you can know what we see.

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9 thoughts on “the shape of the earth

  1. Pingback: cows, and a revision « Forsythia Root

  2. There is just something about a picture, and even though it doesn’t quite do justice to the true beauty, it stands witness to the possibility of what one can expect to find. . .and for the one who has lived here a while, it gives a fresh set of eyes to a familiar landscape. I want to go to the place you have just described. It looks new and undiscovered to me! 🙂 Well done!

  3. When we visited you, I kept trying to take my photos AROUND the power lines, working to get “unobstructed” views. But I find I really like those lines in your photos here — they hint of travel, of the road, of people in their homes with their daily lives in this beautiful land.

    • Oh, trust me, I was trying to avoid the power lines too! But I just couldn’t, and then it turns out that without them, the photos wouldn’t be complete. Photography always brings surprises.

  4. Can I leave a comment, even though I am a man? Thanks for doing this blog, Grace. It is fun to keep up with you Dan through your posts. I like that you pair words with visuals. I am a visual person–I like books with lots of pictures!
    Keep on writing, please. Can you show me how God is building His kingdom there?

  5. Pingback: my memories are kept somewhere | Forsythia Root

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