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Soft Light

The chill in the air bites at exposed skin above fuzzy scarves and below snug hats. Trudging down the remnant tractor trail of summer, through tall grass still loaded with autumn seeds, our legs warm with the effort. We hurry down the rolling hills, and up again to meet the sun before it slips beneath the top of the next ridge. The sky glows with vibrant color on a clear, cold evening.

A different light exists in the prairie in winter. Brisk air grazes the lofty plumes and remaining seed heads of dried foliage. The prairie is crisply illuminated, frosty and dazzling.

Late fall and winter bring a quiet comfort. The work is done. Flowers have produced seeds, and they have been dispersed. The buzzing of pollinators has long been silenced by the cool air. Animals have migrated or taken refuge. Before another spring, the beautiful stillness of the dormant season provides a pause for rest in its soft, soothing light.

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