It gets dark a little earlier every afternoon now. The shift accelerated a few weeks ago when we turned the clocks back. Our house, tucked into a rise on the side a long hill, falls into shadow even sooner than for our neighbors up the road. The sun snags on the top of the tree line some time after 4 o’clock most afternoons and then collapses like a spent balloon, brightness bleeding out into the hardening ground. We tend to think of January and February as the dark of winter, but December is actually the darkest month of year. Every day we lose another few minutes of daylight, culminating in the Winter Solstice, December 21, which in our area will mean we’ll see just a little over nine hours of sunlight. How fast the night takes hold in the final weeks of this year of pandemic and uncertainty and Blursdays. Here’s a light poem on the subject to help offset the lengthening shadows.
by Tess Taylor
How strange it is as we verge on November
and the fields go bare, and days grow tighter
to wake and find, as if from thin air
an unexpected gift: An extra hour.
This generosity recalls the summer’s
easy August days, time and desire
to make long love and read the paper,
both. Unanticipated leisure
makes the passing morning lighter.
The sun on empty vines and stubble fields seems cleaner.
Encroaching thoughts of cold seem further off.
Seem – that is to say, these are measured offers:
by afternoon the light’s late illusion falters.
A cold dark keeps arriving, punctually, sooner.
I prefer winter and do not mind the the differences in the light. I feel I am different than most people in this respect. Love a brisk winter walk.
I love a brisk walk, too, Cheryl, though preferably in the light for me!
Exquisite. For me it feels more sad this year…perhaps I merely forget all previous deprivations of light when Spring begins its whispers?
No, I think it is sadder this year — and the darkness deeper. Xxx
a lovely description of the sun’s dipping down for the night…
and then up it comes the following day (THANK GOODNESS)
Yes, Annette, and today the morning is blindingly bright and bracing!
Your beautiful imagery sheds warm light for those dark days.
Thanks, Jackie. You get the warmth, though, which I dearly miss on this 29 degree morning!
What a beautiful picture of your place on that long gradual hill. Even with the shadows and lost light, we wish we could see it in late December.
Thanks, Anders. We’d give anything to have you and Bev sitting in front of the fire with us!
Photo captures the essence of this time of year. How beautiful.
Would be perfect for framing.
Thank you, Beata. I feel lucky to have captured Venus through the trees.
We have to walk Bentley before it gets totally dark, so I’m keenly aware of how the days are shortening. And this year, more than I remember from past ones, the early darkness is distorting my sense of time. At 6:00 it feels like 9:00.
I know, Susan. And everyday feels like Blursday — my favorite new word!
Beautifully rendered description in both words and photograph. Thank you Liza for this soulful post.
Thank you, Patty. XxxLuza
As I look at this lovely picture, the peace and stillness bring me hope, even as the days grow shorter. I pray that 2021 is a much better year for all, dear cousin. Thank you for sharing yourself and bringing your own light to us.
Thank you, dear cousin. I hope for the same with all my heart.
When it’s discussed whether or not to discontinue daylight savings time, I say no thank you. I love the routine of those weekends we lose an hour, then get it back in the Fall. We did have a minor (cat)astrophe this year, though. When we changed the time on the clock over our fireplace, Don didn’t quite get it right on the hook. We weren’t in the room when it came crashing down, taking a few pumpkins (one ceramic) off the mantle. But the cat was, and I’ve never seen him bolt so fast. The clock was fine, the ceramic pumpkin not so much, and Lucky Bear…he has recuperated. Thank you, Liza, I loved this poem.
I’m assuming Lucky Bear is your cat. Love the name — and this delightful anecdote. Thank you, Carole!
I think January and February seem colder and darker because there are no Christmas lights to warm our hearts! I’ve noticed people have decorated much earlier this year. We’re all seeking something to celebrate.
I keep our lights up well into February for just that reason. And this year, I may keep them going until Spring!