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The Warm Glow of a Red Willow Sunrise

Red Willow Sunrise Earrings

Another subzero night here at 7,500 feet, at the foot of the peaks that guard Taos Pueblo . . . and yet this day dawned still and bright. The mercury will not rise into the fifties today as it has done on so many other days recently, and yet it feels warm, partly the absence of yesterday’s bitter wind and partly the presence of the the dawn light.

The light here is a strange thing, and a magical one: As the blues of the indigo hours give way beneath the insistence of the dawn, the peaks emerge suddenly from the darkness, limned in silver, then gold, then the whole eastern sky increasingly awash in pale light. On those mornings when remnant clouds fan out above the inversion layer, they begin iron gray before turning gold, then amber, coral, and the crimson of the red willow for which both people and place are named. It’s an effect that lasts only moments and changes by the second, the colors then fading in reverse until the clouds are white and their background the turquoise of the new day. It’s a moment of magic and mystery, and the days when I am able to bear witness to the phenomenon in real time are the days that begin with the best of medicine.

It’s also the daily event that inspired today’s featured work. There are instances when the influences on a given work become apparent only after it is complete, but in this instance, Wings explicitly intended it to embody the warm glow of a Red Willow sunrise. From its description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Red Willow Sunrise Earrings

To experience a Red Willow sunrise is to live through a moment of magic, utterly ephemeral and yet somehow timeless. Wings honors the beauty of the dawn in this place with these earrings wrought in an old traditional Native style. Each drop is crafted as a single concha, stamped across the front with the rays of the light rising over the sacred peaks, then domed repoussé-fashion from the reverse. Set in saw-toothed bezels, slightly off-center on opposing sides at the top of each earrings, a small round cabochon of warm red natural coral glows like Father Sun in the first moments of the day. Each earring is 1″ across; each cabochon is 3/16″ across (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; natural coral
$325 + shipping, handling, and insurance

We are blessed to live in a place where the light is its own spirit, a daily gift of warmth and illumination and breathtaking beauty. But the sunrise holds a special place in both our hearts; it is, after all, the moment that sets the tone for the day ahead. It’s also the moment when a wintry world begins to warm again, making it possible to go about our day in relative comfort.

Today, the sun rose in shades of pale coral and silver, setting the strands of red willow aflame upon the earth below. Now, the day is still and bright and seemingly warmer than the mercury insists it is, a day perfect for getting things done.

A day perfect for giving thanks for sun and season and the spirits of place and light.

~ Aji

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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error: All content copyright Wings & Aji; all rights reserved. Copying or any other use prohibited without the express written consent of the owners.