At this time of year, we often feel a heightened awareness of the descending and surrounding darkness.
But, now and again, we find ourselves surrounded by light and its gift of insight and expansive warmth.
I would like to share such a moment and wish you all a happy new year.
To Recreate the Light
It is late winter afternoon.
You have been alone all day.
You go to the window
to water the plants on the sill.
The late light captures you.
For a moment, it is as brilliant as bliss.
You close your eyes.
You know that you have been here before,
as luminous as this,
as heated, as suspended.
You have been here
since the beginning of time.
You open your eyes.
The world that you can see
is bathed in a luster,
so roseate, so pale, so late,
liquid, limpid, lanquid
that everything is lit from within,
drifts of cloud,
silhouettes of trees outreaching,
blue footprints in the snow,
the leaves of your geranium.
Neighbors’ windows shine like cathedrals.
The heat spreads inside your chest.
You are reminded of something.
Is it something that has been
or something still to come?
Is it the spring when you were young
when light fell in tumblefuls
melting down from the snowcaps
into the whitewater you canoed?
Or is it the summer when you ran beaches
or through tall grass,
feeling the bump of black-eyed Susans
on your open palms?
Is it a time before you knew
the world’s brutality,
when you marched to love’s beat,
awakened only to the light,
dreaming away the darkness?
Or is it tomorrow’s promise
of children grown fine, kind deeds done,
work completed, courage summoned, love renewed,
the promise you still feel, but hardly know?
Even as you stand there,
the light begins to fade.
Your body cools.
The sky continues on
in diminishing realms of red, purple, magenta,
You put down the watering can,
turn back to your darkening rooms,
aware of all you have become,
what you have to give,
turn back to the blue screen of daily news,
the tasks at hand,
throw a log on the fire,
write a letter,
cook some dinner,
light the candles in the windows
one by one by one.
Ruthanne “Rufus” Collinson is poet laureate for the city of Gloucester.