Winter Sunrise

December 12, 2015 sunrise 001



“In the beginning…
when ray and day hadn’t yet come into existence at all,
there was a kind of radiance that illuminates universe.
That radiance is the light of knowledge and goodness.
That radiance will persistently and consistently shines brightly
even after all the stars and moons in this vast universe died out.”


Toba Beta


December 12, 2015 sunrise 004


It continues an odd sort of December:  bare, but warm.  The leaves are mostly fallen now, exposing the intricate lace of bare branches against the sky.  Endlessly fascinating, this living filigree which shifts and changes from one winter to the next.

There were enough cold and frosty nights to wither most of the last of autumn’s perennials; but not all. 

In sheltered places flowers still bloom.  A few golden Susans and scarlet sage flowers linger still. 


December 12, 2015 sunrise 002


The season began its shift, then reverted. 

We haven’t had a frost now for more than a week.  And afternoons are balmy.  Each day grows shorter still.  But what gorgeous days of bright sunshine glinting from evergreens and berries.  Camellias and roses pump out bud after blooming bud.

We keep burying bulbs in the damp and yielding Earth.  And they have begun to grow.  Fresh green spikes poke up through the mulch and newly fallen leaves; over eager, perhaps, in this phantom spring.  Swelling buds on Forsythia and Magnolia bear witness to the garden’s confusion.


December 12, 2015 sunrise 007


And the garden calls us out day after day.  It called to me this morning before the sun had even crested the horizon.  And I went out into the damp and misty morning looking for the beauty of this new day.

Winter sunrise grows more precious as each day grows that much shorter.  We’ve almost glided down to the bottom of the year, still losing a few more seconds each day. 


December 12, 2015 sunrise 006


The sun returns a few moments later each morning.  But it returns, and its warmth adds sweetness to these brief, golden December days.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015


December 12, 2015 sunrise 005



“A Forest Garden 2016” gardening calendar is now available, featuring some of our favorite photos from 2015. 

Write to me at for details.


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

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