19 November 2012

i saw the light

And now here we are, a couple of weeks after the time change, and every year, it feels like I will never get used to leaving work in the dark.

The sun was sinking down at 4:15 when I looked up from my computer. Across the way—across the busy road—the sun was highlighting the big brick buildings that make up the county complex. The court's in there, as is the place you can go for early voting. A friend who's since moved away used to work in the county complex, helping low-income people pay for their utilities {and oh, how I wish she were still here and still working there, just across the busy road from my office}.

It's a useful place, the county complex, but it's not a beautiful place. It's where you go to get things done.

But at 4:15 this afternoon when I looked up from my computer, those buildings were blazing softly in the sunset, if things can be said to blaze softly.

When I close my eyes, I can so easily conjure up other "blazing softly" moments:

the Mississippi on a summer's night

sunflower fields out the window of a French bed and breakfast, one that my friend Amie and I stumbled upon as we drove through southern France

the old stone church I used to walk past on my way home from class in Kingston-upon-Thames

In all of those, what I was seeing was already beautiful, but it was made more beautiful by the gently fading light. The light going out in a blaze of glory.

But this afternoon, I was looking at the very dull county buildings, and I was seeing them in a new way.

I think we all, from time to time, need to see the old and the known in a new way. We need to not feel so engrained in our patterns and dug into what we know.

We need, in a way, the time change to show us our world in a different light—and to show us that change and transition comes with perks, too, even if it seems frightening and unknown and depressing at first.

Friends move away.

Relationships ebb and flow.

Your job grows.

You get a dog.

You get married.

You have a baby.

You move.

All these changes can come at us so fast, it feels like, but there will come a time, when you're in the midst of change, that you'll look up from just trying to get through the day—and you'll see the world in a new light.

You will.

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