ONE ICY MORNING as the light crept over the edge of my day, I stepped out into the frosted world and found there on the cold ground a lost wing of summer, its flutter of gold now flightless and fallen, as the crisp stilling of silver winter rose up.
Everywhere a quiet alchemy was taking place. The cold gate latch ice-clanged. Frost and rust: strange playmates.
Here I stood, on this late November day, as the Earth's Wild Jeweller threaded her silver through the rich golds of autumn.
Birch trees edged with peeling paperbark were amber-lit by the first light against blue moonstone-cold fields; autumn's late-clinging leaves shone golden in the silver morning.
Old bracken and new ivy, brown and green, were adorned by the twin lustre of those two precious metals of fable and proverb, found in Long John, in apple, in moonlight, in heart, in pirate's swag and tax collector's booty. The Earth's Wild Jeweller had cast a metallurgist's spell to enchant any lost or jaded treasure-hunter.
I stalked the paths of this 24 carat world, the treasure chest of my heart full up with iridescent awe, and ringing in a momentary gladness.
As the light found its way over ice-stilled leaves and grass blades caught in the electrolysis of winter...
Fallen acorns and upturned mushrooms and leaf skeletons grew tiny, quiet crystals of the rarest value...
And all the while, in this shining hush, not one of the world's appraising marketeers could fathom or match the value of this, my silver and gold.