Golden hour. Most people prefer dawn – but I am usually asleep then. Maybe I shouldn’t call it a golden hour because it is more apt to be aubergine.
But my favorite time to be outdoors is and always has been twilight. It is said that there is a moment just before total darkness when the sky is aubergine. Many times I have looked for that magic moment but only experienced it once or twice. I used to spend more evenings outside at dusk but lately I get impatient and start for the lights of the inside of the house to turn on the TV. Shame on me.
I feel that all eternity is near in that twilight moment as the sun has sunk before the darkness creeps in. In August I was on the Pacific Northwest coast where one day I actually did see the sun fall behind the Olympic Mountains looking out over Puget Sound. It was amazing how quickly the temperature dropped once the sun disappeared even though you would think when it is low in the sky it would not be producing much heat. But within 10 minutes of its demise I was adding my jacket and walking to the warmth of the car.
That moment though when the sun slid very quickly from visible to GONE is a moment I won’t soon forget. A poem maybe later?
I have traveled quite a bit over the last few years and have found it remarkable how different the sky and the light looks in different locations. Indeed this factor adds tremendously to the ambience of any locale. Check out the sky in Brussels or Seattle vs the sky in Key West or New Orleans. The most northern sky I have viewed is Amsterdam and you can almost feel the thinness of the light as the sun arcs the southern sky even in May.
One time we camped on the shores of the Atlantic at Beaufort SC. In that place they allowed no artificial lights in the evening because Sea Turtles nest on that beach. So once the sun went down on a clear night you could easily see thousands of stars in the sky. It made me acutely aware of why the skies were so important to people of old and why they named the constellations as gods etc. In a dark place like that the stars clearly rose to ultimate importance in the moment. But I digress.
Thinking on this golden moment idea – I believe I will make a concerted effort this week to be outside at dusk. To experience once or twice again the magic time when day turns to night and THEN and only then and only when it has been accomplished turn to the comfort, safety and warmth of my own hearth. These days are turning cooler in the place where I live.