Dusk Edging Out the Light

by Brittany


Summer light here in Virginia and also in LA and in the South of France has this counter-intuitive dimness to it... I think it could be due to the humidity here in Virginia but that is not present in those other two places that I'm familiar with.... but both Southern California and the South of France have the opposite of humidity... the summer dustiness. Also there's smog. But ultimately the dimness I'm talking about is an inside dimness... we instinctively draw the curtains and pull the blinds to protect our shelters from the heat and that ensuing dimness is what is seared on my summer mind.

(I was just skimming through old posts and realized that nearly every other post of mine is about light... I do actually think about other topics... sometimes... I think...)

In fall my blinds grow dusty... and my windows are thrown open with abandon. The light is clear --nearly translucent...achingly bright and steady. Then just like that it is gone... and then you realize it had actually been dispersing steadily for some time... when you finally notice that you are sitting in darkness it seems like the darkness shattered that pure Northern light, but in reality it had been slowly seeping through the cracks in the light. There were a hundred little signs of dusk but the light was so caressing and harmless (unlike the beating heat of summer) we were lulled to sleep by our own tasks and the thrill of it. It really is a northern thing, I think... in fact... this fall light here is really what most of my Washington home's light is like even in the summer. I am aching to find out what the northern light is like in Scandinavia. We toyed with the idea of Christmas in Stockholm because tickets there were cheaper then tickets home but we compromised with January in Washington. Maybe next summer we'll sell all we own again and backpack Northern Europe again... Or maybe we'll move west... but certainly North! 

When I was little I asked my dad what the most beautiful direction was... and he said West because it sounds soft and yearning but at the same time the direction of the unknown and adventure... I think North has a similar yearning sound to it, but the stronger starting consonant also suits the slight chill of temperature and demeanor. We had (and have) nice conversations.