Turning to the fresh page of a new year, my skis glide over pristine white snow, sparkling with rainbow prisms. All around, a dark corridor of pines frames the path. A brief vacation at Lake Tahoe sets the stage for 2021.
The well-traveled writer Mark Twain called Lake Tahoe “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Few would argue, especially at sunrise and sunset when waters and sky fill with vibrant fuschias and peach-gold tones. A starry carpet stretches across the lake as the scriptures of this season celebrate light conquering darkness. Like pleats unfolding, each peak is touched by dawn, and the bowls between mountains fill with cloud-scarves the color of rose petals.
Such glimpses of the kingdom launch the new year with what naturalist Helen MacDonald in Vesper Flights calls “hymns of slow moving light.” Being saturated in so much beauty stills the inner voices that clamor for control or whine with anxiety.
It seems more a time for living than for writing, so Twain gets the last word: “If Lake Tahoe does not cure whatever ails you, I’ll bury you at my own expense.”