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. The 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. A 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.
As 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.
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.
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
- The light from within. (batoolrumi.wordpress.com)