Monday, November 3, 2008

In Praise of Lights by Barbara Quinn

Light! More Light! were the dying words of Goethe.

I’ve been thinking a lot about light lately. I’ve always been drawn to homes that have a lot of windows to allow the sun into the rooms. I find I have trouble breathing in dark Victorians with tiny windows. I don’t have screens on many of my windows because I prefer to have an unobstructed view and to allow more of that lovely light inside. Give me a sunny day and I’m instantly ready to take on the world.

The room where I write at the shore is bright on sunny days, so bright that in the summer I have to draw the curtains to temper the too strong late afternoon sun. But now, in fall, the light has changed. The sun sets in a different spot relative to where I sit, and the presence of that orb is most welcome, regardless of the time of day. The shadows in the room also change depending on the season. The rectangles that edge the light elongate differently, slant more to the left on the rich wood floor. Out on my balcony, sometimes it’s still warm enough to sit and watch the ocean which now is darker blue. The light does that, changes the color of the ocean from day to day, from season to season: pale blue-green, and green in summer, medium to navy blue in winter. There’s a starry night effect some days, the light twinkling off the darkness of the ocean mesmerizing me and lulling me to a calm place.

The evanescent time of day when light fades to dark, when it’s neither day, nor night, is always a wonder. Blink and that crepuscular moment is gone. But, oh, catch it for a second or two, and hover there, caught in the beauty of life.

It’s fascinating the way the sun does make a difference in our feelings and moods. Who wants to run around when it’s rainy and dreary? I’d rather snuggle under the covers with a good book. But a sunny day. Now that’s instant energy.

All this dwelling on light has made me realize that some people are like bright sunshine, filling you with warmth. They’re wonderful to have around. And like the light, we take them for granted, expecting them to always be there, recognizing their importance only when they are gone leaving us bereft and struggling in the dark. I intend to embrace and acknowledge the lights in my life while I can.


Angie Ledbetter said...

What a deLIGHTful post, Barb. Hope your week is filled with brightness of the sunshine and nice people kinds.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Yes, what Angie said, very nice...

I am like that with windows - I have no curtains except these sort of dark bambooish things on the bathroom windows; although I do have wood blinds, but they are ever open or raised to let in light (and the mountain view).

In my BR house I had a wonderful sunroom that I sat in and wrote - all glass, so nice.

The light does change - our sun tracks from ridge to distant moutain to ridge and affects the sunrises' colors.

Barbara Quinn said...

You too, Angie and Kat...lost of sun and light are wished on you!

Patresa Hartman said...


lights windows oceans people. beautiful, ms. barb.

Barbara Quinn said...

Thanks, P. It all does seem to be connected, especially when I'm at the shore.

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