On the sadness of light

When nights are still light at 8pm, I get a little sad. They’ll soon be light at 10pm and then they start getting darker again. I want it to be perpetually ‘almost summer’ so there’s always warmer weather to look forward to. It’s like eating the first third of a chocolate bar and knowing that there’s not as much left to enjoy later. The spring flowers, late to arrive this year because we haven’t long left winter, will be just as fragile and just as short lived as they always are. My favourite flowers, those early bursts of colour and life, but they also make me sad. No sooner do they appear than they’re gone again and won’t return until we’ve trudged through another long dark winter.

This is not a post about the weather. No, it’s about the passage of Time. Few things highlight how quickly it slips away than the changing of the seasons. Children growing up, people we don’t see often looking older when we meet and the seasons. We turn them into a rite of passage. Baby’s first Christmas is so soon followed by long summer holidays from school and with the passing of every summer another year’s progress. But that all stops and as adults we carry on less governed by the seasons except to bemoan the impact on traffic or the pain of fitness classes in preparation for the beach. We still all fit our lives around the big seasonal events, women maybe more so than men.

Do we really want to wish our lives away like that? Can’t wait for summer or planning for Christmas already? I looked up this evening and it was still light at 8.15pm and I felt a pang. A grieving in advance for the dwindling days and a grieving for the days passed that will never come back. We can’t store Time and it feels like such a swindle.

No, I don’t want the nights to get any lighter. I want them to pause right here, right now, because I know that what is to come will also pass and fade like the flowers only just appearing in the garden. Tomorrow will be lighter still and the darkness another day closer. I leave it to you to decide what that means.

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About julietmchugh

Fiction writer from the North East of England with a taste for the gruesome and macabre.

4 responses to “On the sadness of light”

  1. Kate Gilmore says :

    Beautiful, and I know exactly what you mean with the little added edge, like a spice in a favorite dish, that comes when you get to be my age. How splendid just to see another spring!

    • julietmchugh says :

      Thank you, Kate. Yes, I’ve had close enough calls to know that feeling too. Someone asked me not long ago where I saw myself in five years. I said I don’t even look beyond five weeks because anything could happen and I’m just glad to get there day by day. Planning ahead gives time the excuse to sprint forward, I feel, when for every one of us it’s already running out faster than we can live. I love spring but its portents make me sad.

  2. rozzie13 says :

    Entirely agree with your sentiment Juliet, I feel exactly the same about the light – all too soon we reach the summer solstice and the daylight hours, although imperceptibly at first, start to dwindle.

    • julietmchugh says :

      I suppose I want to always have the hope of better things to come. Once those better things arrive, they’re soon over and the changes in the seasons embody that feeling. It’s a lot like saying I don’t want to have fun because then everything else will seem too mundane.

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