There’s a unique beauty in the magical moments at twilight, when just after sunset there’s a golden glow to the earth before darkness arrives. Last year when I had a two-week writer’s residency at Artcroft in central Kentucky, I spent most nights observing that hilly acreage as my final act of the day. It occurred to me then that the word gloaming, which is a less familiar word for twilight, sounds like what it means—a golden light that glows.
At the gatehouse where I stayed, there was no wi-fi, no television, and no other residents to get to know. This opened up space for me to live in the luxury of silence. I could feel the rhythm of each day, and somehow, I felt grounded in my season of life. The quiet of that house was like being at my Grandma Smith’s for a week in summer when I was a girl; located on a rural road where my heart quickened to the sound of an approaching vehicle; paced by nature with outside activity in the cool of the day; led by my natural energy instead of external demands.
My day started in the kitchen, opening the door to morning coolness since the house only had a window air conditioning unit upstairs. Stepping onto the stoop, I often spotted a rabbit at the edge of the grassy lawn. While I filled the coffee pot with water I looked through the double windows to a bank of wildflowers including chicory with lavender blooms. Throughout the morning, I watched those flowers to see at what point the sun became so harsh that the blooms gave up, pulling in their petals and calling it a day.
The kitchen table became my morning office, with devotional books, references on memoir writing, and pen and paper for drafting the next chapters of my sequel memoir. There I worked at a steady pace, drinking coffee and occasionally going to the door to check on my rabbit friend.
Around noon, I’d eat lunch then drive to the next county to enjoy the air condition and wi-fi of the Paris-Bourbon County Library. I watched as families came in to check out DVDs for children home for summer, old folks read the newspapers, and others—like me, came in to use the free wi-fi. I stayed through the sweltering afternoon that sometimes-produced thunderstorms. When the day was exhausted of the heat and I had used up all my concentration and ability to create, I returned home.
I passed farmers on tractors who were finishing up, cows cooling in the pasture stream, and commuters returning from their jobs in town to their country homes. I’d eat dinner in the quiet of that kitchen and listen for the occasional passing truck or car with a muffler in need of repair.
When the air finally cooled, I’d head out for my evening stroll. A dirt road ran from the gatehouse to the estate that was at the highest point of the four-hundred-acre property. I’d walk for a while, then stop to observe the changing sky at sunset—an artist canvas of colors behind the Kentucky hills.
Almost to the estate house, I turned to look at the expanse of Artcroft and think about the day– the rabbit at breakfast, calming silence of this solo journey, the work I’d produced without the distractions of housework that I would’ve had back home.
And then, in the golden glow that is the gloaming, it was as if all that had been was burned into beauty and light just before darkness pulled its blanket over the day and sleep prepared me for another.
What about you?
Have you experienced that magical light?
How can you allow yourself to follow a more natural rhythm in your day?