The sun drops earlier now. 8:29. It rises at 7:18. Daylight is balanced – I feel balanced – at last.
By November, the sunless hours of the workday will glow as cool civil twilight, and we will spend them either mourning the loss of light or celebrating the brief arc of the sun. Our choice will impact our outlook.
Out here, outlook makes or breaks you. The granite ridges are either rust and silver and dusted with new snow, or they are cold and desolate. The tree line is either crimson and yellow amid the last of the emerald leaves, or it is summer’s decay. Splotches of blood-red fireweed either release cotton seeds into brisk summer winds – ambitiously sowing seeds for their future – or they stand as hopeless carcasses. The sun is sparse, but in its absence stars and the Aurora Borealis dazzle. The snow is cumbersome, but it brightens.
As the sun sets on summer, I must tell myself all of this. In the transition between summer and autumn, old fears and troubles have passed, but new ones nip at their heels. It has not been easy. And colder, darker days await. Will I let them swallow me whole? Or will I celebrate that beauty only glimpsed in the darkest time of the year? My resolve will make or break me, I tell myself (again).
But I know better. My determination to glimpse the beauty in everything is only as strong as my faith. Without faith, my determination to celebrate the calm of candlelight at dusk, the hug of a warm coat, the anticipation of the first snowfall, and the joy of togetherness – none of which summer offers – is snuffed out. Unsustainable.
I know how wearying it is to always see the good in the bad, to work to curate my thoughts and stay positive.
On my own, seeking the beauty and good only carries me so far. With Christ, I can experience lasting joy each day of the long journey through the deep valley.
Photo: Hatcher’s Pass, Kathleen Raygoza