The day I learned my long-ago student had become a great teacher, I took the dogs for their afternoon 2 miles out through the golf course and into the fields. I was deeply, profoundly happy, having gotten one of life’s sweetest gifts.
It was a gorgeous day. As normally happens on a sunny day in winter, the sun dropped lower on the horizon until, on our way back, its angle to the earth was quite oblique. I stopped to let Bear roll around in a spot where she is sending and receiving messages from various other golf-course perambulators.
As she rolled in Bear bliss, I looked at the snow.
It was a cold day, and it had been a gold night. Tiny ice crystals had formed on the snow and were standing up a microscopic bit, each glimmering crystal refracting sunlight. The color each sent back into the world changed as I moved, brilliant ultramarine, turquoise, golden, orange, green, violet, scattered shards of sunlight.
I had never seen that before.
I thought of my countless hikes, the moments of miraculous and unexpected beauty, often on a very small scale, to which I’ve been a witness just because I was out there.
Here was another.