Saturday, August 18, 2012

Conservation of light

After several days of glorious summer, sunny and warm, temperatures in the 80's, I woke around 5:30 this morning and noticed, not only that the sky was gray, but also that the sun wasn't quite up yet. Clearly we are well into August now, with its steady, almost painful diminishment of light.

I went to look at the tide calendar, which also gives me the times for sunrise and sunset, and I see we actually only lose a little over half an hour at each end of the day, over the course of the month. But it feels like so much more; could it be that the sun rises more quickly now, so we don't get that long promise of dawn? Or that it sets more quickly, so the light doesn't linger at the end of the day?

Whatever the reason, the days seem to shorten drastically, and inevitably my thoughts turn to Vermont, and the way the light which is leaving our horizon seems to seep into the leaves and grasses there, which will soon be glowing glorious as the sunsets we are losing.

And even though that means that winter's already on its way, lurking around the corner, there's something very reassuring about the conservation of light; the way it moves from the summer sky into the autumn leaves, and then into the bright snow, then back into the leaves for those glorious yellow-greens of spring, and then back into the sky. 

There's always some new light around the corner, however dark the road might seem right now.  This photo -- of my friends' driveway in Vermont -- seems to capture that glorious sense of anticipation; of darkness balanced with the light to come.  And though the view outside my window now is gray and cold, I know the light will be returning soon.  If not -- well, then I'll chase after it: head west to capture another sunset at Kalaloch, or maybe east to drink the scent of ripening apples in Wenatchee.  But I can feel that autumnal wanderlust coming on...

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