Take Time to Observe the Beauty of the Winter Sunset

Nature has so much to offer us: solidity, serenity, subtle and impressionistic changes that can’t be held back. The beauty of nature is comforting in its rhythm, it’s gentleness, it’s varying degrees of transformation, and it’s predicable manner of being unpredictable. One element of nature that can be comforting, inspiring, and humbling all at once is the rhythm of the Sun. Without it’s rays, Earth would not be hospitable, and if the Earth were either one planet closer or further from the Sun, the same could be true.

Throughout the year, the strength of the Sun’s rays varies, most notably if you live in the temperate zones. Here in upstate New York, we experience the beautiful extremes of the year, and I had never taken much notice of the weakness of the Sun’s rays in the winter until I lived on the property I currently do and had spent so much time in a certain section of the world throughout all seasons.


Frozen stream with the slanted winter shadows.

In the winter, there is a special hue that slants through the trees, most notably in the evening but also in the early morning, and touches the bark of the bare trees with rose- and golden-colored kisses. It gently blankets out along the ground, broken by the shadows of tree trunks and has a general appearance of the light emitted by a low-voltage light bulb. The weak light sometimes makes me yearn for warm, spring weather, a nostalgia passes through me as it reminds of the first spring flowers: trilliums, trout lilies, and may apples that will blossom in May before the trees leaf out.  In the early spring, the light that reaches the Earth’s surface from the face of our bright sun is strengthening but still slightly weak, and the shadows that pass across the faces of the delicate flowers are much the same as those in February.


Mayapples in spring-time shadows

Even with thoughts of spring, the golden winter light has a beauty of it’s own and is worth taking the time to admire and using as a platform for inspiration to contemplate that which is illuminated in much the same way in your own life.  What in your life is cast in a golden hue by the weak light of winter?  What makes you think about other times in your life but because of this you are able to acknowledge the blessings you all ready have?  What do you look forward to that will come with the spring-time?

Writing Prompt:  Pick an object in nature that you like, and over the course of a week, observe and write about it.  Describe the light that falls across it, how the light punctuates your object’s beauty, and what feelings it invokes within you.  For a more balanced experience, add other sensory inputs such as calming music and a pleasant scent that you enjoy.  If desired, perform this writing activity over a longer time period.  Don’t forget to link back if you post about it!

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