Light Time

Photo: Baslow
Today is one of those transition days in the rhythm of the year. It could equally well have been yesterday, but today the full “shift” occurred. The temperature outside is 82ยบ, unseasonably warm for April 2 in Pittsburgh. It’s definitely sandals, shorts, and tank top weather. I worked in the yard for a couple of hours and my back has that delightfully flushed and healthy feeling (I know — it’s really not healthy, unless you count all the extra vitamin D). I’m pleasantly tired. And now I’m sitting out on my sun porch with iced coffee and open windows. I’m enjoying the breeze, listening to birds, and smiling at the riotous abundance of forsythia and daffodils on the hillside beyond. The record snowfall of a few weeks ago is fading from memory.

The “shift”? This day is sensory validation that we have officially passed into Light Time, my personal term for the part of year when daylight exceeds darkness, and light clothing takes the place of dark, heavy apparel. It’s a time to move around unfettered, to roam and explore freely, a time of growth and nurturing, connection to the earth, a time of richness, fresh food, and  flowers.

Dark Time is an introspective, brooding, interior time calling for hot, crockpot meals, heavy layers of insulating clothing, and moving with effort through difficult conditions.

Each season has its own rewards and benefits, though I admit I far prefer Light Time.

Earlier, while snipping dead twigs and branches from overgrown juniper, I realized that my writing tends to go through similar seasons. There are Light Times when the words flow freely, often like a flash flood through a dry arroyo. During Light Writing Time, I tend to focus on more upbeat, “public” material. Sometimes it’s humorous,  sometimes instructive, and occasionally insightful in a growing sort of way that forges into new territory.

During Dark Writing Time, I’m more likely to focus on past events, reevaluating, reshaping, practicing the sort of alchemy that transforms leaden memories into golden assets.

My light and dark writing times don’t
perfectly correlate with seasons of the sun, but neither are they disconnected. I welcome this seasonal transition as a time to inventory writing and related projects, pruning and fertilizing the vital ones, and pulling out a few that have grown stale and scraggly.

Write now: a story or essay about your own sense of annual transitions. What signals seasonal shifts to you? What memories are evoked? What seasons do you notice in your writing?


Karen Walker said...

This is a lovely meditation on the LIght Time, Sharon. It is hard for me to get into the spirit of Spring when the wind is howling thru the house like a banshee (remember the winds in NM?). It's cold today as well. But everything is budding outside and it is lovely to see all the colors.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Winds in the NM mountains may not be as fierce as those in The Valley, but I do remember March winds, which could linger into April. You'll get there in a few more hours -- or days.

Does your writing stay the same in Light Time as Dark?

Kathleen Pooler said...

Lovely post ,Sharon and one that I instantly related to. As I sat on our deck today looking at the clear blue skies and watching the trees swaying in the gentle breezes of this unseasonably sunny and warm northeast April day, I was thinking about all the things that herald the change of season on the farm- the mallard ducks that court in our pond, the frogs that croak at night, the lush green plants bursting forth in the green house screaming to be transplanted into the garden. I love the change of seasons for each one holds its own beauty and purpose. I think my writing flows better when I take time to notice the beauty of each season. But I have to also say, there is nothing like a warm,sunny day to bring out the" Light" writing.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Kathy, what a lovely picture you paint of the farm. I love all those lush descriptions -- color, sound, motion... I'm wondering if you have fuzzy pussy willows? I love the feel of those, and there are none in our yard. :-( Do you associate and scents with spring?