In the mountains, the time between first light and sunrise stretches long. Dusk is measured in hours not minutes. The sun’s path across the sky is shortened by jagged walls of earth and rock.
Those mountains, breathtaking in their beauty, are really scars on the earth. Leftovers of terrible ripping and searing fire. Covered now by trees and snow, cooled by meandering creeks and waterfalls, they were birthed in grinding, hot pain.
Like we all are.
If you don’t live in the mountains those long twilight hours are disconcerting. Whether you’re conciously aware of it or not, part of your body registers the changing angle of the sun throughout the day, encouraging you to wake, reminding you to take shelter for the night.
That extra time leaves you in a bit of mental limbo: not quite night, not quite day, waiting for the certainty of either.
Waiting to see the shape of things fully. Waiting to feel safe enough to hunker down and rest.
Sometimes there’s peace in the waiting. Sometimes impatience.
After a major upheaval in one’s own life, I think that waiting can be fraught. After the tearing and tugging (or maybe even explosive destruction) in your life, it takes a while to get attuned to the new shape of your sky. To trust that the sun will make it over the ridge eventually. To realize that the waiting in half-light has its own pleasures and joys.
Our skies are always changing but it is so easy to forget that, or even to willfully ignore it. With our eyes cast down into glowing screens, our ears filled with constant buzzes of information, our hearts tugged in too many directions, it is easy to miss the altered shape of our inner world.
The jagged ridge to the east where heartbreak is still fresh. The softened line to the south where time has healed and transformed our inner landscape into something beautiful and verdant. The storm rumbling in from the west.
The waiting time can help us suss out where we’ve been and what’s to come. And it can make the sunshine, when it finally comes, all the sweeter.
Pictures taken by me with an iPad. In the mountains.