Where You Shine the Light

November 18 2013 WC and Parkway 018

Light makes all the difference

After a long summer season of bright, seemingly endless days, these late autumn days feel suddenly truncated.  Now the bright midday sunshine is precious, and noticed.  Sunny days are precious, as so many now are overcast and damp.  tree  on parkwayThe sun seems to move so much more quickly as we approach December.  A sunny afternoon shifts so suddenly towards twilight, and then darkness.

Sunrise arrives so much later now.  It is a race to open the blinds and welcome every possible photon of light into the house.  Sunset follows far too soon.  “Where did the day go?” I find myself asking as darkness settles in a little earlier each evening.

A simple trip out for some shopping in mid-afternoon, begun in brightness, ends in dramatic sky gloom as heavy dark clouds gather around the setting sun.  November 18 2013 WC and Parkway 012A sky worthy of stopping to photograph, if one hasn’t left one’s camera at home.  One lonely beam of golden light found its way through both cloud and winter bare branches to say goodnight as we unlocked the side door, parcels in hand.

I am more aware of the light as we move into this darker time of the year.  I notice not only its fleeting nature, but also how it changes everything as it comes and goes.  The landscape feels almost manic-depressive  as its mood shifts depending on the angle of the sun.  It’s all in where the light is shining, and where it’s not.

Where the light is shining determines what we see, and how much.  I suddenly feel a need to stop everything and clean on sunny mornings when the bright light catches in the spider webs  that have gone unnoticed on dull days and long dark evenings.  I search out lamps to read the fine print on labels and to illuminate my crocheting.

November 18 2013 WC and Parkway 010As the days grow shorter I’m eager to dig out the holiday lights; to decorate dark corners with lighted holiday houses, light candles, and to stuff a spare vase in the hall with a string of twinkle lights.  I want to illuminate my world to make up for the gathering darkness outside.

December, now only days away,  is  the season of lights.  As each day grows shorter, we each make our little effort to bring more light into our personal world.  Whether we are preparing greeting cards for distant friends and family, setting out sparkling holiday decorations, planning gifts for loved ones, or entertaining friends; we all do our best to illuminate those people and places most dear.  We light a fire in the hearth, we bake, we light candles at dinner.November 18 2013 WC and Parkway 013

Where we shine the light of our love and attention makes all the difference in the world.  It determines what we see, how much we understand, and how we  feel.  It makes the day dull or bright.  It allows us to get things done, to accomplish goals, fulfill dreams, and makes our world sparkle with love.

As the sun grows dimmer and more distant each day, the inner light in our minds and hearts must grow ever brighter to compensate.

This is the lesson winter offers us year after year.

November 18 2013 WC and Parkway 021

All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2013

“Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.  It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. 

It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.”  Michael Strassfeld


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

6 responses to “Where You Shine the Light

  1. I think this may be my favorite of your posts yet. It was so beautiful and such a blessing to read. I struggle hard with the loss of light in the winter and your post was an eloquent reminder that it is the light of the heart that matters. And that is a light we can always choose to shine, blessings to you.

    • And to you, also. As we enter this season where so many suffer depression and loneliness, it bears remembering that the real light comes from within, and shines from heart to heart. How would we survive December without our opportunities to gather together and bring our lights indoors? Best wishes, WG

  2. Anonymous

    Exquisite piece of writing.

    Let there be Light.

  3. Beautiful post, WG. I find the shorter days to be different here than they were in northeast Ohio where it seems like the clouds would take over in November and we would rarely see the sun until sometime in April or May. We’ve had so much sunshine here that I occasionally find myself wishing for clouds and rain, and then when it does rain, the ground soaks it right up, unlike in the Bogs (as I called where we lived in Ohio) where it’s almost always wet (boggy and soggy). The days are a wee bit longer here (9 h 56 m, in the Bogs it’s 9 h 41 m), and the light looks and feels different. It’s been fun and interesting learning about the seasons on the Eastern Shore. 🙂

    • Isn’t it amazing how a little change in latitude and distance from the ocean makes such a huge difference in how the world “feels”. I completely understand what you mean about “it looks and feels different”. We lived 10 miles from the ocean, further south, before moving up here a few years ago. The air is different, the light is different- the weather patterns are different. As the realtors say, “location, location.” 😉 Your extra 15 minutes of day light makes a huge difference, I’m sure. Thank you, Annie, for stopping by and for being so supportive. I hope the counter top install is going well and that it’s beginning to feel like YOUR kitchen. Best wishes, WG

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