It’s early March, the snow almost gone. From my upstairs window, the old ragged oak, leafless. It just happens that the sun is rising right behind its trunk and now the hot star slips between its upper fork, the light splitting everything. Just for this moment, the old naked tree seems to be crucified on the dawn of another spring. And the light has enhanced everything for spilling through the tree. It blinds me as it illumines the world. As I start to see again, I think of Leonardo’s drawing of man, arms and legs spread; bringing into view a circle that connects our small heart spinning in the center to everything. So maybe this is how it works. Sooner or later, we must spread ourselves to life, naked, mouths open; our small hearts always spinning in the center waiting for the light. The old oak will never be the same. We’re intimate now. The sun has gone on to warm the rest of the world and the tree has settled back into its weathered form. The early light has come and gone off my face, and I have settled back into ordinary perception. But we have been lighted. Just now, a fox trots slowly across our yard. He stops and looks up at me, then disappears.
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