Watching the Light

Sunrise today: 8.38am. Sunset today: 4.39pm. 8 hours of sunlight. 1 hour and 35 minutes longer than the shortest day.

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Driving home at twenty past five and for the first time the sky is still light. There’s no daylight left but it’s not yet dark and the sky is twilight blue the whole way home, and the lochs by the roadside as the road bends and curves are the palest twilight blue, like the flashes of a torch, like the thump of a heart beat, illuminating our passage.

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A sunlit lunchtime, the first for I don’t know how long, and with the snow almost away there’s a quality to the mud and grass that reminds you for a moment of the first taste of spring, echoing with robinsong, and nothing for it but to stand and catch the light.

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Leaving the building just after 5pm, people stop and stare at the sky.

‘Have you seen the light?’, someone says.

‘Did you see it this morning? Look at the light!’

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The ice might have gone but the gale that follows stops me walking. Even a picture in the garden’s hard as the wind tries to whip the phone from my hand. I lean against the wall of the old blackhouse for support, and watch its light.

black house in sun

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I’m still not sure what photography means or why it matters. Perhaps it’s just a question of watching the light.

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And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet I would remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.

~ Ursula Le Guin