Noon, January

The sun hangs low in the sky - twenty three degrees at noon in January - but upon December’s Winter Solstice at least we know that we have once again turned the corner, each day now bringing a little more light.

That’s what we keep telling ourselves. 

In January there is a lot of winter left; in so many ways not easy, but definitely not without its charms.

The quiet is the best of it, especially profound on the days without wind. The air is colder, thus denser…and the silence itself sounds different.

No people, no bustle, no nothing. Yet in this seeming void, my senses always come especially alive, and this was one of those days. It was very cold and I was out just walking around North Haven.

When you are heavily bundled against the cold you move more slowly, and when your head is swaddled, and movement requires more awareness, the sound of your own breath becomes very intimate. 

It all sinks into you, as would the presence of another person. Yet, blissfully, there was no one. This is an island with a year-round population of just over three hundred, yet that day I might as well have been marooned alone. It was perfect.

Noon, January
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Meredith Ralston