The shadows are already long by 2 p.m. at this latitude this time of year. The Sun gets to sneak into places he’s rarely allowed to see. Usually, only springtime grants him access to the woods. When the snow has finally melted and before the trees leaf out, the Sun is allowed a brief chance to see the inner workings of the forest. It doesn’t last long, though, because the days are often rainy and overcast in the spring, and then the leaves cover everything and the Sun’s chances are foiled once again. In winter, the snow does the same thing the leaves do, and the Sun continues to be barred from the woods.
But not this time. Now the Sun is given a rare opportunity to enter the woods in ways he could never have imagined before. Whole sections of the Earth are revealed to him, boulders and ledge, rocky overhangs and small caves. These are the places the Sun has rarely seen, places where the night creatures live. Now the truth is revealed.
|Long shadows cast by the secret sun.|
So you would think that the Sun would boldly explore these areas. You would think he would rake the countryside over, exploring and examining every crevice, sneaking into tiny caves, learning the hidden layout of the land. While some of that occurs, it’s not as much as you might expect. Instead, I caught the Sun red-handed seeking out the tiny trees, those that are perhaps only waist high.
I saw him speaking with them because I do that kind of thing. I sneak up on the Sun and watch what he does. I only do this in the cold weather when he is too tired to notice me. In the summer I hide from him so he can’t find me. But today I saw him, and I saw what he did. He found those tiny trees, the ones he never knew about, the ones that were hidden from him because of the canopy of the forest, the ones that might never make it to adulthood.
And what did he do? He visited each one as if it were the most precious thing in the world. He stopped by and stood near each little tree, putting his arm around each one, smiling and chatting as if he had all the time in the world. He made each little tree feel special. He gave each little tree a veiled gift, the gift of what it might see if it persevered and grew to adulthood. He whispered secret charms over each tree, teaching each one what it might do with his stored energy.
Then just as quickly as he arrived, the Sun was gone, but not without my having seen it all. Perhaps I have misjudged him. Being so fair-skinned, I have always found him to be so harsh. I have always hidden from him. I imagine I will continue to do so in the summer months. I would be a fool to stay too long in the Sun.
But now I know some of his secrets, and he is not what I thought him to be. This changes everything.