the season of dancing light

As the fall mornings evolve and daylight diminishes, I find myself waking in the dark. It feels like just yesterday when the early morning sun lifted quickly over the horizon, rousing me from sleep, and the bedroom would take on a lighted glow. Now, I struggle to see any hint of light through the trees; the room remains dark. I wonder if I’m no longer a morning person since I lost the light as my alarm clock. I had come to depend on the light to start my day.

It was only when I started to awake in darkness that I looked upon light with new meaning.

As I headed out the door on an unseasonably warm morning in October for a walk through Blue Star Memorial Woods nearby, the day had yet to dawn. But soon, I was hopeful for a sky to illuminate and its shine to pierce through the forest.

Until then, summer light remained strong and prevalent and struck from high above. But now I witnessed the effects of the sun’s lowered angle upon an unfolding fall landscape. There are shadows and seemingly more tree canopies brightened, spreading a wide scope of light through the forest. I couldn’t help but to stop and see myself in silhouette against a background of greenery. What a most unusual fall selfie!

The obvious change in light and its filtering through trees appeared as if they were tangoing among the leaves. It was playful. It was pleasing to the eye and inspirational, where the shadows added a bit of drama. There was something artistic about it.

photo credit: Eileen Harte

I later learned that there is a Japanese word for this. Komorebi. Actually, it’s not a word, but a feeling that describes the light in which it plays on trees, striking them just so. One can be in awe of the sight, feeling as if you captured a unique moment when you were in the right place at the right time. The play of scattered light can change an uninspiring forest into an inspiring, almost meditational existence of a rare moment.

I realized how much dependence not only we have on light, and for me to awake by it, but also for trees’ growth direction, and its leaves for photosynthesis, and for flowers to open their buds.

I viewed light as hope. That in the dark before dawn, when a halo of light from below a horizon elevates, I will anticipate moments of komorebi, when tranquility and peace open my mind and heart to a new day.

And when we soon can be filled with the visions of dancing light.

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