Losing light

new light - 108.25.19

I follow the blog of an architect in England–a brilliant writer and photographer who documents the beauty and joie de vivre in his world.  At this time of year, he always has a moment where he says, “Autumn is knocking at our door”.  It starts here with the light.  One day, despite the warm temperature, you realize it’s changed.  Not only does it rapidly begin to be dark in the mornings, and the sunset is much later, there is a different slant in how the sun crosses the lawn, makes shadows of the trees, and there is that cool air hiding behind the warmth.  We’ve had lovely seasonal temperatures and are forecasted to have sunny days with highs in the 70’s at least through all of next week, and we’ve been making the most of it.  We are tidying the house from a summer of guests, repairing storm damaged this and that, and putting away the games and toys for another summer.  One long day, we sailed in the afternoon and took the motorboat out in the evening.  I’ve kayaked along the quiet shoreline, and gone for a swim around the sailboat, up towards the Lutheran Camp, wondering how those grandkids could stay in the water so long.  After a week alone, it feels like we have now settled back home to ourselves.

The deer have not eaten my geraniums this year, so I need to dead-head them, give them a good soaking, and freshen them up a bit for the duration.  I had the boys do the watering this summer, and lost sight of how the flowers were doing.  The window box outside the kitchen pantry is an explosion of green plants I’ve never seen before, and looks so lovely when the morning sun crosses over the top and green light shines into the white sink.  We’ve been closing the white lace curtains to the night before bed, and in the dark mornings, there is a quiet stillness in the kitchen.  Soon, very soon, I will need to light a candle.

The Lights, by Miriam Nash

It’s getting dark again,
a closer dark
that’s harder to shake off,
and I think of the lightkeepers
in their granite towers,
oiling bolts, winding weights
in the nineteenth century dark—
scrubbing dishes, writing the log,
testing the bulbs
of the twentieth century light—
the final keeper
climbing down his ladder
in 1998, at the end of the last shift—
the automated switch, the microchip,
monitored in Edinburgh
where two centuries before,
one Thomas Smith
manufacturer of street lamps
sat with an oil flame
and a Scottish map—
I strike a match over dark reefs
where ships would crack,
the year unhooks its old black hat
to have a go at vanishing
the human world.

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