The Sweeping Sun

The house Jeff and I lived in was had a long view of the horizon, with Grand Mesa off to the side. Since nothing impeded our view from the living room window, we could watch the sunset every night as it swept from the far southwest in the winter to the far northwest in the summer. I knew the exact notch in the Mesa where the sun seemed to hover for a few days before it began its journey south again, and it really shook me up one year when the final sunset of winter took place several notches beyond the norm, as if the earth were lurching on its axis. Besides that year, though, the sun swung back and forth with an even beat.

It almost feels like that now, though I have no long view — no view of any sunset, actually — just trees and houses across the street impeding the horizon. What I do have, this year, is my nightly walk home from my job. I was just settling down into the dark, enjoying the rare night walk, when, one day at a time, the light crept up on me. And now I’m walking home in the pre-dusk dimness, which is almost as bright as midafternoon.

I didn’t get to feel this gentle change of the light at the beginning of the sun’s journey into winter because of daylight savings time. One day I walked home in the bright sunshine, the next time I walked home it was dark.

Now, though, I can feel the subtle changes as the days get perceptibly longer. In no time at all, it will be spring!

Actually, it felt like spring today — the last snow has melted, and the temperature got up near seventy. Tomorrow will be the same, but then the temperatures will drop to the more seasonal low of 7.

But whatever the weather, the days will be getting longer and lighter, and though I can’t see the sun setting, I know it is sweeping inexorably toward the northwest.

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What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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Celebrating the End of the Creeping Darkness

I have always disliked the creeping darkness of fall, each day getting shorter, the nights getting longer, so I used to celebrate the day after the winter solstice — the end of the creeping darkness and the beginning of the brightening.

I didn’t much notice either the light or the dark during the past few years. All my days seemed dark, first with the long dying of my life mate/soul mate then with my grief after this death. But now that I am opening up to life again, opening up to a brighter time, it seems fitting that once again I should celebrate the end of the creeping darkness and the beginning of the brightening.

To that end, I have planted light. I wonder if it will grow.

S

Wishing you a brighter day and a new year filled with light!

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+