Josna Rege

407. Inner Light

In Nature, reflections, seasons, Stories on November 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm

It has been nearly four months now since we moved, and every day is still a surprise. By mid-November, after a succession of cold, blustery days, the deciduous trees around the house had lost almost all their leaves. I emerged from the bedroom one morning to find shafts of light streaking into places I had never seen lit up before. The leaves of the potted plants we had brought in before the first frost had been looking dull, but now they were glowing; and, I was surprised to find, so was I. 

It’s counter-intuitive, isn’t it, that as the days grow shorter, the mornings and afternoons gloomier, and the shadows longer, there should actually be more light slanting into the house? As we were turning toward the darkest time of the year, I had been anticipating a season of hibernation and bracing myself to face it. But I had been wrong. Now that the trees were bare and the sun low in the sky, there was new light coming in everywhere, in unexpected places.

In just four weeks we will come around to the winter solstice, a cold, dark, snowy time when we will have to hunker down and bundle up day and night to conserve heat; but also a time to turn inward and discover that inner light.


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  1. Sounds as if your move has gone well, even if bringing unexpected results. I hope so, anyway! Well designed modern buildings usually take the lower angle of the sun’s path as a chance to increase natural light and warmth into its confines, don’t they, , but I don’t know if that was what was intended in your new home or a happy serendipity!

    Those extreme seasonal contrasts I now as an adult take for granted living at a little further north than the 51° parallel. When living in Hong Kong as a child, at 22°N, extremes were much milder by comparison, and I don’t know that it would make much sense the closer to the equator one lived. Perhaps just the arrival of the rainy season or change of wind direction would mark the year (in Hong Kong the typhoon season was high summer, if I remember right).

    • Thank you for your comment; it’s good to hear from you. This house must have been well designed, then, and it was just that it hadn’t occurred to me. We certainly get extremes here, especially cold, which I don’t love but am used to by now; what I hadn’t expected was the new light that this dark season would bring in.

      Ah, the rainy season–something we always anticipated eagerly. I didn’t know that you’d lived in Hong Kong. The typhoon season may not have been something quite as welcome.
      Thanks again, J

  2. Wonderful message of hope. Thank you Josna!!!

  3. Thank you for helping me to look on the bright side! These dark mornings and afternoons can take a toll even though I actually love winter and snow. I’m not crazy about darkness, but I know that Scandinavians often embrace it by turning out lights and lighting candles. Maybe we should do more of that!

    • I love lighting candles, Maureen. Thank you for reminding me. I didn’t know that it was a Scandinavian practice during those long, dark winters; definitely one to cultivate–as long as one doesn’t fall asleep with a candle burning! (Once, many moons ago, when Andrew and I were sleeping on the floor at a friend’s house, we fell asleep with a candle on and it had set fire to the thick polyurethane coating on the floor when we woke up and stopped it. Just in time, because it was taking off fast!) x J

  4. We have a solarium on the south side of our house and during the summer when all of the leaves are on the trees and the sun is high, no sun comes in at all. Now that the leaves are falling and the sun is lower, it’s so sunny and brings us a lot of heat on the cool days. Right now there are still lots of leaves on trees and their bright yellow and orange brighten the room also.

    • Aah, lovely to have a south-facing solarium, Kristin, shady in the summer, sunny and warm in the winter. Do you keep plants in it? Sit and read?
      Our leaves are long gone–except on the ground, still-unraked. . .

  5. Josna, So wonderful to hear your voice again. I love watching the light come in my windows, too and enjoy all its delicate reflections. I found that if I put some crystals on a table near my window, I see beautiful rainbows glistening on the walls of the room.

    Your experience in a new place encourages me to move out of MY family home by showing that a new enviroment can produce a renewed appreciation of life and light both outer and inner. Gloria –

    • Gloria! So nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting. Yes, this is my first new post in nearly a year and it’s fun to be writing again. I’m starting small and not at all sure where it is going to go.
      Yes, this move has been a good one, I think, coming after a long stay at my parents’. I hope you will come and visit next time you come to Amherst and that that will be soon. Until then, love, light, and the best of health. x J

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