there's a certain slant of light.

Thursday, 24 April 2014


After dinner tonight, the evening air was so still and the dipping light so inviting that we (me, my brother, my dad) decided to go for a small walk around Skelmorlie. It's a quiet little village, full of hills and cherry blossom trees and old crumbly houses made of red stone. 



When we came to the top of the hill we stopped walking and just stood, taking it all in: the birds singing, the sound of someone practising piano in a nearby house, the pink and orange light glowing behind the mountains, a tabby cat sauntering across the road, the midges gathering in little swarms (not so nice, alas), the deep green of the grass. Beautiful.


The light this evening made me think of the Emily Dickinson poem that begins: 'There's a certain slant of light-' ('When it comes, the landscape listens,' she writes. 'Shadows hold their breath...'). Only, the light she is writing about is one of 'winter afternoons' 


That sort of golden light that's almost intensely beautiful, but tinged with sadness ('[it] oppresses, like the weight/Of cathedral tunes') because it is always followed by darkness. The Spring light tonight did quite the opposite: it sent me home glowing, the weight of worry that I'd been dragging about all day dissolving, disappearing, until it felt like I was floating up the path, tiny wings beating softly inside my chest. Hope.

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