25 January

Sunrise At Zero

by Jon Katz

We’ve slipped into the soul of an upstate New York winter; it’s not supposed to be above freezing for at least a week, and probably more.

The sky is arctic blue, the sun crisp and devious – it’s bright but not warm. This was another of my rush out naked mornings; I had to get that sun coming up right behind the apple tree and shedding these beautiful shadows.

It was just below zero, and when I heard the door close behind me, I wondered for a minute if it had locked after I ran out with my camera. Maria was upstairs getting dressed and might not have heard me if I shouted or banged on the door.

First, I thought I could run into the barn and jump into a pile of hay, but then I thought of those brickly bits of grass against my body. I might make it into the woodshed, where the cats go when it’s cold.

Or I could run naked into the yard and scream; she would be likely to hear that. Maybe the dogs would bark. I wondered if I’d turn into a statue like the Tin Man.

But the door wasn’t locked, and I took my photo and got back inside and jumped into a nice warm shower. Maria came down and was stunned to see me coming in from the outside.

“What is wrong with you?” she asked, and not for the first time. As always, I had no answer. I got the photo I wanted too, that sun and those shadows.

The shadow felt good.

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