Aki and I came to this trail at the end of the North Douglas Highway because it is cold and sunny, and the lack of wind last night has allowed frost feathers to form on the trailside plants. We arrived now because the morning sun always brings our beauty in frost feathers. In truth Aki, the miniature poodle mix cares little for visual beauty. The strong sun hurts her eyes. But she has a ball charging up and down the boardwalk trail, sounding like a galloping horse.
The below freezing weather has firmed up a normally muddy trail along Peterson Creek, which leads out of the frost ferry land and into a solemn mixed alder and hemlock forest. No ice covers the creek so it reflects the grey and white trunks of alders that lean for sunlight over the water. I crunch over fat bladed grass, drained of all color but winter tan, covered with frost yet to be lit by the sun, to the edge of an oxbow bend where the dark shadows of alders crisscross the reflection of a bright winter sky.
It feels a holy place, a sanctuary. Like a dark corner of Chartres Cathedral, I can stand in this calm world of grey and search the shadows for beautiful shapes, carved by God, not man; see the colors of redemption shine through the prisms of frost feathers, not stained glass.