New York Autumn - Central Park Fall Colors - Bow Bridge
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Autumn - Central Park - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa
The graceful limbs of Autumn's trees cling to all of Summer's sunsets searing their leaves yellow, orange and red with the sun's heat.
With golden leaves stoked by the last of Summer's fleeting flame, Summer's fire extinguishes itself in a carpet of brilliantly colored embers on the ground below.
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Touching the Sky - The Chrysler Building - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa If you are fortunate enough to look up at exactly the right time, you can catch the sun dancing along the top of the Chrysler Building. As the sun glides across the iconic spire, it leaves glimmering trails: shimmering footsteps connecting the sky to the city. The Chrysler Building is a classic example of Art Deco architecture. Designed by architect William Van Alen for a project of Walter P. Chrysler, it was the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation from 1930 until the mid 1950’s. Even though the building was built and designed specifically for the car manufacturer, the corporation did not pay for the construction of it and never owned it, as Walter P. Chrysler decided to pay for it himself, so that his children could inherit it. Upon its completion on May 20, 1930, the added height of the spire allowed the Chrysler Building to surpass 40 Wall Street as the tallest building in the world and the Eiffel Tower as the tallest structure. It was the first man-made structure to stand taller than 1,000 feet. ---
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Afternoon Sunlight on a Greenwich Village Street - New York City
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Cobble Hill Brownstone - Brooklyn - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa I had severe brownstone envy when I was younger. Growing up in Queens (another borough of New York City), I visited Brooklyn frequently and the brownstones found in Brooklyn tugged at my heart. Their ornate doorways were flanked by enormous and extravagant stairways and every window seemed to be a frame encapsulating an enticing painting. There wasn’t anything that came close to these beautiful works of architecture where I grew up in Queens. Watching the Cosby Show fueled my envy of course. I had no idea at the time that the exterior shots of the Cosby’s brownstone were shot in Greenwich Village and not in Brooklyn Heights where the Cosby’s fictional residence was located (why they did this is beyond me since Brooklyn Heights has some of the most beautiful brownstones). All I knew was that these masterpieces of architecture just seemed more ‘New York City’ than any of the buildings I grew up surrounded by. ---
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New York - Spring - Cherry Blossoms - Brooklyn
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Whisper - White Spring Blossoms - Central Park- By Vivienne Gucwa You exist, this I am sure of with only slightly wavering certainty that vibrates with nothing but the tiny memory of a breeze. You, a whisper in the night on lips that mouth your name swollen with hope. You, a whisper that launches forth dreams on the backs of my eyelids. And I exist too, this I am sure of with quivering certainty that holds steady in the presence of the strongest of wind gusts. I, the whisper your lips haven't yet come across. I, the branch that sways in the warm embrace of possibility. I, the whisper that dances delicately in the night ---
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Spring Blossoms Overlooking the Central Park Reservoir - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa On Spring mornings, the world hangs in sleepy stasis. Trees, adorned with blossoms as soft as winter's first snow, use their branches to gracefully conduct the world's awakening in a daily symphony at dawn. --- I am admittedly a night person. I have tried for years to trick my stubborn body into accepting a different biological time-clock to no avail. However, on days when I am carefully trying to get myself to accept the mornings as a friend and not a foe, I am always amazed at how differently the world appears especially during certain times of the year like springtime. On a perfectly cloudy Spring day in Central Park, it's as if the world is opens up its dewy eyes one by one as the city stretches out languidly for a few hours. ---
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In the Shadows - Lower East Side Alley - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa In the darkest canals of the city where light seeps through, wanderers emerge bleary-eyed into the sun: birthed explorers carrying darkness into the light. --- There is a solitary aspect to living in such a highly populated city such as New York City. It's easier to sink into the shadows. People pass in stairways and on sidewalks with vigorous abandon : ghosts brushing shoulders in a daily anonymous tango. ---
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Park Avenue in the Spring - Upper East Side - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa There is nothing quite like spring on Park Avenue in upper Manhattan. The gorgeous, ornate architecture is adorned by beautiful spring blossoms. Park Avenue is one of the wider avenues on the Upper East Side and has a center divider that showcase trees and flowers. In the spring, rows and rows of yellow tulips bloom at once catching the sunlight with their effervescent petals while the trees on either side of the avenue and in the center area feature pink, yellow, white and light green blossoms. ---
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Spring Sunlight over Cherry Blossoms - Brooklyn Botanic Garden- By Vivienne Gucwa The sun washes over the battle-scarred winter weary limbs of the earth's trees drying the melted tears of winter with its rays of light. And the world reels in the warmth of the sun and the hues of possibility. ---
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Catching the Light - Cherry Blossoms - Brooklyn Botanic Garden- By Vivienne Gucwa Staring into the light of the bright spring sun surrounded by flowering trees, petals swirled in the wind catching the light like glowing embers eventually scattering to the algae-colored pond below where they shimmered on the surface like tiny lanterns. I was reminded of a comment that someone made about several of my recent spring photos where they were surprised to see nature represented in such a way in New York City because for them, New York City seemed to be nothing more than "a wilderness of rocks". The truth is that there are so many places to find serenity and nature in New York City. There are over 1700 parks that span all five boroughs of New York City, many of which boast beautiful landscapes. This particular image was taken yesterday at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, one of my favorite spots to enjoy the many colors and sights of spring. The Brooklyn Botanic garden has more than 200 cherry trees of forty-two Asian species, making it one of the foremost cherry-viewing sites outside of Japan. The first cherries were planted at the garden after World War I, a gift from the Japanese government. The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden located in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was the first Japanese garden to be created in an American public garden. It was constructed in 1914 and first opened to the public in June 1915. It is widely considered by numerous landscape architects, to be the masterpiece of its creator, Japanese landscape designer Takeo Shiota. ---
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Spring's Embers - Cherry Blossom Petals on the Surface of a PondSpring rises as a younger subdued phoenix from Autumn's dormant flame stoked by the warmth of the sun as it ascends from the icy muffled ground of Winter. As Spring burns with its pink and white flame, the trees dance shaking off frigid thoughts of barren times. And when the trees have fortified themselves with the fire of renewal, Spring's pale pink and white ash scatters onto the wind carried by the whisper of Autumn's dreaming utterances before falling to the surface of the water like tiny embers as they flicker in the sunlight alight with a dream of Summer. --- Cherry blossoms petals on the surface of the pond at the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City.
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New York City - Perry Street - West Village
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The Urban Forest Primeval - Conservatory Garden - Central Park - New York City
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New York City - Rain - Greenwich Village
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Spring Cherry Blossoms - Central Park - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa At the edge of winter sits the reflection of spring. Trees lifted from their slumber by weightless blossoms make their way out of the twilight of winter's last icy gasps. ---
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The Secret Garden Water Lily Pool - Central Park - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Covering an enormous 843 acres, it’s hard to cover everything Central Park has to offer in terms of landscapes and activities. Even most people I know who have lived in New York City for a while who have been to Central Park more than once usually are surprised to find entire areas they never imagined existed in the park. Years ago when I lived on the border of Spanish Harlem, I used to love to walk over to Central Park to explore. It was a 15-20 minute walk to the park since I lived all the way over by the East River and I would often walk across and then down to the area by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One day, instead of walking across and down, I was taken directly across to Central Park in the early 100s and came across an entire area I had never seen. An elaborate wrought iron gate called the Vanderbilt Gate sits on 5th Avenue at 105th Street. It’s the entryway into the only formal garden in Central Park. Spanning 6 acres, this section of the park is called the Conservatory Garden, named for a conservatory that stood on the site in the early 1900s. The garden opened to the public in 1937 and is comprised of three distinct parts. It fell into disarray in the 1970s but was restored completely in the late 1980s bringing estate garden style into Central Park. This particular photo is of what is referred to as the Secret Garden Water Lily Pool which is dedicated to the memory of Frances Hodgson Burnett containing a sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh. The water lilies in the pond bloom from June to October and it’s a popular spot for romantic photography shoots. In fact, the Conservatory Garden tends to be crowded with wedding parties and photographers on weekends and during prime times in the summer. This entire area of the park during the summer is bucolic. Birds perch on the sculptures and sing while butterflies and bees flit from flower to flower around the pond. It’s an incredibly blissful and picturesque spot. ---
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Blush Response - Japanese Magnolia Blossoms - Spring - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa As the steel exoskeletons that wind along city buildings bask in the glow of springtime, fresh-faced blossoms blush in the warmth of the sun tilting their heads skyward hoping for a kiss. And the earth swoons. ---
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Every Yesterday - Lower East Side - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Store gates slumber in the folds of the day when the sun and clouds fall over the city like exhaled breath wrapping the cityscape in sleepy thoughts. And on these slumbering store gates, dreamscapes unfold surrounded by the discarded remnants of every yesterday and every today. ---
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New York Autumn - Central Park - Bow Bridge - Fall Sunlight
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Winter - Central Park- Through Winter Trees - New York City
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Times Tells Its Own Tale - 480 Van Brunt Street - Red Hook Stores - Fairway Market - Brooklyn - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa 480 Brunt Street is also known as the Red Hook Stores. It is a Civil War-era storehouse located in the Red Hook Waterfront Historic District in Brooklyn, New York City. Red Hook, located in Northwestern Brooklyn was settled in 1636 by Dutch Colonists who named the area Roode Hoek (red point) after the red hue of the soil and because the area jutted out into the water. Due to its waterfront location, ships from all over the world would dock at Red Hook to exchange cargo and make repairs for well over a century. When many of the shipyards were relocated in the 20th century, the area fell was marked by significant urban decay. The building in this photo, known as the Red Hook Stores, was built in 1869 by the builder William Beard. Beard, who was an Irish immigrant made millions via his building and railroad empire. At the end of the Civil War, New York City was receiving such a large amount of goods that Manhattan could not handle all of the cargo. Brooklyn's waterfront became the alternative and warehouses like this one played a crucial role in offloading cargo like grain, cotton, hemp, jute, indigo, leather, fruits, tobacco, vegetables, cocoa beans and coffee. This building now houses a Fairway Market and apartment residences. The beautiful iron shutters that give this warehouse building so much charm were initially built to protect the precious cargo stored in the warehouse from the elements. The decayed trolley cars which sit in the foreground also have an interesting link to the past. In the 20th century, there were many trolley lines that criss-crossed the Brooklyn landscape and served as transportation for residents. The trolleys were in use until the 1950s. To celebrate the trolleys that would have been seen here for many years, these trolleys were acquired and put in front of the Red Hook Stores permanently. They aren't from New York City originally though. The trolley cars were acquired from Boston and Oslo and were repainted to match the original color scheme of the trolleys that would have been found in Brooklyn in the beginning of the 20th century. Worn by time and natural elements, they are beautiful examples of urban decay. ----
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East Village Balloons - St. Mark's Place - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Festive colorful party balloons blow in the wind on St. Mark's Place in the East Village, a popular neighborhood in lower Manhattan. ---
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The Color of Rain - Greenwich Village - New York City
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Transience - Washington Square Fountain on a Summer Night- By Vivienne Gucwa The inherent romance that pulses through the city at night grows stronger in the summer. Lamp posts and surfaces weary from the noonday sun glisten in the moonlight while night breezes carry the whispers of lovers along slowly and deliberately. ---
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Perspective - The Empire State Building and the New York City Skyline- By Vivienne Gucwa The Empire State Building was designed (from the top down) by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which produced the building drawings in just two weeks, using earlier designs as a basis. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 in dramatic fashion, when United States President Herbert Hoover turned on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. It was the first building to have more than 100 floors. ---
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Dusk - City Hall Park Fountain - NYC- By Vivienne Gucwa Buildings that pepper the lower Manhattan skyline surround City Hall Park fountain at dusk. ---
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On Rainy Evenings Like These - Chinatown - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa There is nothing like a rainy evening in New York City. The streets, darkened by the rainfall take on a beautiful sheen while walls and storefronts glisten. Couples huddle under shared umbrellas and inviting scents of dinner fill the streets. ---
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New York City - Staple Street Skybridge
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Chinatown Rooftop Graffiti - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa New York City is an urban layer cake. This is another one of my favorite views in lower Manhattan. It’s a small segment of an entire universe that exists above millions of New Yorkers. Layers of colorful graffiti cover the rooftops of these Chinatown apartment buildings as rooftop doors blow open in the wind and colorful clothing sways on clotheslines high above the city below. ---
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Stolen Moments - Chinatown - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Stolen moments are the sweetest moments. When the rest of the city has escaped for the day, the world melts away with a lingering kiss under an umbrella. ---
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Vesuvio Bakery - Soho - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa This beautiful storefront is around 100 years old and while the original bakery no longer owns the space, the current owners have opted to maintain the old historic storefront since it is such a vital part of the landscape of the neighborhood it sits in, Soho, New York City. ---
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Oxidation - Domino Sugar Factory - New York City
- By Vivienne Gucwa
There is something remarkably touching about urban decay. It is as if sorrow and longing can be traced in the peeling layers and crumbling brick. In warm sunlight, the rich colors created by iron oxidation produce the most beautiful textures on old pipes and metal framework. The memory of those who graced the intricate insides of these structures is delicately preserved by the faded remnants that remain.
During the period following the Civil War, New York was the top provider of refined sugar to the United States, and for a period of time the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was the largest sugar refinery in the world. At one time, the factory employed over 4,000 workers and processed 3 million pounds of sugar a day.
After nearly 150 years of service, the factory shut down in 2004 due to a decline in demand. There is a new plan for this space to make it a residential space which is being actively protested by groups like the Waterfront Preservation Alliance and the Landmarks Conservancy who believe that huge development in this space would destroy the history and architectural legacy of the sugar factory. I am inclined to agree with their assessment.
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In-Between Moments - Soho - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa There is a certain serenity that can found when wandering New York City streets at night. These moments pause the forward motion and flow of city life. Street lights flicker against wet cobblestone and glass windows stare back languidly. Remnants of previous signs of life sit on curbs while bicycles lean against stoops resting briefly in the calm embrace of the night. —- Someone suggested a few months ago that a common theme to my photography was loneliness. I recounted to him how in the earlier days of posting my photography online, people would message me asking if I deliberately removed people from my shots. They couldn’t believe that in a city as densely populated as New York City, moments like the ones I am fond of capturing exist in reality. I can definitely say that I have never removed anyone from my shots. The truth is that even in a city of a little over 8 million people, the city often pauses and takes a breath. The in-between moments where life empties from the streets, when the city becomes a private sanctuary are captivating. These moments are fleeting and short-lived but they breathe life into the same streets that boast activity in the moments that tend to define them. ---
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Warm Glow of the Sun on a Winter City Night- By Vivienne Gucwa The winter gives New York City a more clearly defined edge. It’s an edge that can be found off the beaten path during nights when the windchill dips into the negative. The lights flicker like icy cold stars leading the way down alleys and streets not well traversed late at night. Monotonous rushes of wind rhythmically pulse through these stark pathways lined by the frozen tears of winter that cling desperately to the ground and in the distance the warm glow of a distant sun penetrates winter’s frigid grasp. ---
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New York Autumn - Central Park - Trees and Fall Foliage
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Smoke - Night - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa At night after the multitudes have retreated to their homes away from the buildings and streets that hold them close during the day the city relaxes shaking the dust of the long day from its concrete limbs. The street lights flicker like dream-heavy blinks of an eye while smokestacks exhale world-weary breaths of smoke into the yawning night air. ---
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Winter - Soho - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Streets, trees and buildings in a neighborhood of New York City called Soho covered in snow at the peak of winter.
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Summer's Dormant Dream - Winter- New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Summer slumbers deeply. Tree limbs stripped bare remain vulnerable to the sky's attempts to stir them from their dreaming state. It's when the sky caresses and seduces the earth with its snowy proclamations of love that the earth transforms into a somnambulist navigating the boundary between sleep and dreaming: dreaming its dreaming self awake slowly. -- This view is of an Upper East Side tree-lined street during beginning of a particularly beautiful snowstorm.
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Heart of it All - Above Chinatown - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa This is one of my favorite views of Chinatown. The view is of East Broadway, a main street in Chinatown that extends into the Lower East Side. A girl sits on one of the rooftops eating a bowl of food in the upper right hand corner of this photo. The Municipal Building sits in the distance. This particular spot is a Chinatown neighborhood known as ‘Two Bridges’. Two Bridges sits along the East River and has long been a dwelling spot for many different immigrant communities over the years. It sits alongside the infamous and historic Five Points area where Irish, Jewish and Italian gangs battled to the death in the mid-19th century. It is currently home to a large community of Chinese immigrants and many of the buildings are tenements dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. ---
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Refrigeration - Williamsburg - Brooklyn- By Vivienne Gucwa Urban decay of the peeling paint, old sign, graffiti and scattered broken electrical equipment variety found in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a section of New York City.
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In Another Place and Time - Chinatown - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa
New York City changes and evolves at a rapid pace. In certain areas, changes occur faster than others. Lower Manhattan is one place that has changed the most in the last decade. Development happens fast and the current trends are extremely tall buildings constructed mostly of glass, chain stores and luxury boutiques. In neighborhoods that were once bohemian and home to artists and rebels, these current changes have been hard to swallow for long-time residents who run the risk of being out-priced out of the neighborhoods they have called home for decades.
Despite these changes, there are still parts of lower Manhattan that recall earlier decades. New York City suffered economically in the 1970s and it was during this decade that much of lower Manhattan was transformed into a danger zone full of abandoned lots and buildings and rampant crime. Having grown up in New York City in the 1980s and early 1990s, I have vivid memories of riding graffiti-covered trains from Queens into Manhattan. I was taught to ‘watch my back’ at all times since everyone seemed to know someone who had been mugged. Things were still different in those days prior to the initiatives by mayors Koch and Guiliani to ‘clean up’ the city (and discourse is still rampant regarding how they handled it).
When I came across this section of Canal Street initially, my heart almost leaped out of my chest. Here I was staring at a section of a spot in Chinatown that seemed as if it had been dipped in 1980s New York City and had become frozen in time (thankfully I had my camera). It’s hard to put into words how powerful this scene is for personally. It’s a bit like staring at something that once existed in a distant life.
A city may change rapidly discarding pieces of itself, but it’s the people who carry it’s broken pieces with them in their hearts who imbue the city with its memory.
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Reverie-wayfarers - East Village - New York CityAt night when the city pauses, street lights flicker; electrical synapses trigger dream sputters and whirring blinks of sleepy eyes open and shut in the darkness. Traversing this elaborate noir dreamscape, reverie-wayfarers pause; stop-motion refugees lit only by the cool blinks of neon signs. In these solitary single frames, night’s blackness vignettes these stolen illuminated interludes cradling them in its steady embrace. ---
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Winter's Dream - Autumn - Central Park - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa Under a canopy of elm trees, nothing is quite as beautiful as the warmth that emanates from fallen autumn leaves. Scattered like fiery embers, they are strewn about only suspended in motion for a short time before the wind stirs them from their molten slumber. If winter had but one dream, it would be of this. ---
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Central Park Winter - Poet's Walk - New York City
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The Sky's Tears of Joy - Angel of the Waters - Winter - Central ParkThe silence that engulfs the world after a snowfall is deafening. All heartbeats, all footsteps, all meandering thoughts and evocations are wrapped in a heavy blanket of snow. Trees cease reaching for the sky, weighed down by the weight of the sky’s tears of joy and there is scarcely a breath to be heard. Winter muffles the earth silencing it’s yearnings, and all at once there is peace. ---
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