Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taking back Twilight

I sat outside in the deepening twilight the other night - [I love that phrase, deepening twilight, don't you??] - and watched the long shadows cover the yard, the neighbors' houses, and creep right up to my back door.

I looked around a backyard strewn with toys, bikes, push-cars and sand pails, and watched as my baby girl busily constructed 'woads' and 'ouses' in the sandbox, right into the very last minute of the day.  I turned my eyes up to the house at the top of the yard and in the bright rectangle of the kitchen window could just make out Torbjorn & Lars at the table, deeply absorbed in elaborate Lego structures.

It's a beautiful time of day, those moments just before people start shutting the blinds, when the warm light of their homes shines out of their windows and staves off the encroaching darkness just a few seconds more.  I looked at my own home, registering all of the untidiness around the yard, the shingles that desperately need replacing on that one corner, the windows that could do with a good scrubbing, and hours of yardwork needed to bring things up to scratch, and I was grateful for the shadows, for the softening light that didn't show everything.

Weathered Sunset by Fort Photo / © All rights reserved /via Flikr

The common literary convention is to see twilight as the death of the day (and the whole twilight/death thing is just so regrettably obvious since that crazy vampire story.)  But here's my question: could we perhaps see the end of the day as the time of focus, the time where all the silly details fade away?  See it perhaps as the curtains closing on one act of a very long play, where, as the footlights fade, what is left on the stage in the spotlight are the central elements of the scene:  all that is important.

What the diminishing daylight on this recent evening revealed were the gifts that I've been given, and for which I so often fail to be grateful.  There are, inside my home, three bright, healthy and profoundly sweet children who forgive me daily for my failings, and continue to trust that I will do right by them.  There is, inside my home, a husband who faithfully goes to work, drives hours and hours and hours to get there, all to provide for this life, this place of peace for us.  There are, inside my home, pictures and dishes and teacups (oh my!) that are tangible memories of many people who love us, who have shared their lives and gifts with us, and therefore make our lives richer.

I find twilight - yes, the deepening twilight - so profound.   It is a few quiet moments to reflect on the sheer grace of being given another day:  the lights fading on the trivial, and the spotlight focused only on that which is central to life - those whom we love.


L-A said...

That was beautifully and thoughtfully said. It's moments like this, I find, that balance the chaos and tip the scales in favour of motherhood.

Cheryl said...

Just lovely!

hillary@dark :: light said...

Exquisite. Thank you for painting such serene portraits with your words.

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