It must be the seven large windows, almost floor to ceiling. They are full of light, but I am stuck in the certainty that each day there is less of it. Less light, less warmth from the sun that rises later and slips below the horizon – its slipping no longer visible except from the water’s edge – earlier each evening.
The seeing and the knowing, the fading of light, should not really matter but it does. I grow older, and the physical stuff, the reality, has me firmly in its grasp. I need the light to see, to read before the blur takes over, to walk without stumbling. Yes the steep, rocky trail is a problem, but also those rugs we elders are advised to jettison. I know I can’t blame the fading light for my loss of balance and agility, but somehow they seem connected.
For several days now I have prepared the fireplace to push the morning cold away. It’s not about the light but the heat, more evidence of older bones and thinner flesh and that I have not walked and stretched enough. And why didn’t I finish insulating the cold cabin floor when I was able?
Then more reality, a far better reality, pushes through. The aurora borealis appeared many times in August and September. Though Jackie and I didn’t stay awake long enough to see the dancing light, it was comforting to know others watched in joy and amazement. The sun pushes through the clouds and past the towering spruce more than enough. We simply have to go to it, stand, hike, absorb. And put on sunscreen. Last week a friend across the lake delighted in sharing photos of “the Harvest Moon chasing Jupiter”.
The clouds have moved on, and the sun shines. The cabin is warm, and we have plenty of wood stacked for another month and to start us in the spring. And it is almost spring in Australia. And the first of the birch and aspen are turning yellow and gold. Imagine what is to come. And the light? It seems God did leave a light on for us. We have but to step into it.
Warren Bradbury, a retired English/Language Arts teacher, lives with Jackie in St. Cloud and from mid-May to mid-October on an island at Crane Lake, Minnesota. Though he must be really inspired to write poetry, he collects and shares great poems with family and friends every day, having, like Robert Frost, turned his “vocation into my avocation”. At “The Learning Cabin” – and wherever their journey takes them – Warren and Jackie live with gratitude.