A Rare Warm Day in Winter


PA sky

It was a beautiful day, dry, with a clear blue sky and brown lump hills stuck through with toothpick trees.

The hills seemed both far off and crowding. I felt as if I could pull one down and the rest of the world would lie flat before me like a map. I often feel the hills are hiding the real world, that they are distraction. On days like today, when the sky is so pure and blue behind the bare trees which stick up from the earth like fringe, the hills’ charade begins to crack.

There seems to be nothing beyond them, but to travel up them is to play along with their charade, and beyond them you will see only what they want you to see: more hills. I wonder what would happen if I surprised the hills one day, if I suddenly grabbed the top of one and pulled it down like a scene in a pop-up book. I wonder if it would tear away like paper and we’d see the world unencumbered by endless ripples of elevation.

But then, you know, I’d hate to live in a place too flat. It’d be so boring.

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