The Dark Months Eleven

Sunlight has an incredible effect on the spirits. We take it for granted in the brighter months, but in these darker days we miss it desperately, and appreciate its every brief glimpse. The Dark Months is a series charting those moods, dips and delights, through a series of word paintings, or meditations.

The Dark Months – Eleven

It was a morning where the brightness bullies you out of despondency.

Stepping out of the door may seem a chore, but it has its rewards.

Sunlight slices into the eyes at oblique angles, and across open ground to the point where four roads meet, a predestined stop.

There the sun seems suspended in a tree, shining like a diamond bright pupil in a eerily blue iris.

Standing in its glow, you can see the rapid movement from one part to the other of the ‘eye’ created by the bent boughs. The sun moves fast and the days are short at this time of year. By noon the sun will have peaked, and by 4.30pm it will be dark.

In Wintering, Katherine May wrote “There are gaps in the mesh of the everyday world, and sometimes they open up and you fall through them to somewhere else …”, and so it seems staring into the sun.

And then, unbidden, I see the mesh.

Like the sun it too is tangled in the tree’s branches, but lower down, a washed out and unravelling blue, a sentence trailing off into nothing.

Once it meant something.

Now, it’s an irrelevance, albeit one with a pervasive presence.

Why or how it got there is unknown. It remains a steady reminder nonetheless.

A reminder of our actions against our planet?


A reminder too of the persistence of nature, and of the cycles that we cannot control and which give us a freedom which outlasts the brief, sun bright day; a legacy of hope.

The tree grows, just as the mesh diminishes.

I choose that freedom.