The Candle’s Flame, Moments Before Twilight

One of my favorite times of the day is when the sun starts making its entrance back into our daily lives. When that bright disc in the sky nears its rise over the edge of the earth’s curve. That period we refer to as “twilight”. As the sky goes from completely dark to the beginnings of the sky starting to lighten. The colors are amazing, as your eyes adjust with the slow procession of the sun towards the edge. Until the sun finally peeks over that curve of the earth, bathing everything in that bright light that will illuminate our environment for a time, and warm us to one degree or another. This is a beautiful time of the day for me. This is also a dangerous time of the day for me as well.

I am suffering from diabetic retinopathy in my eyes. Essentially, I have some hemorrhaging of the blood vessels in my eyes, due to periods of high blood sugars. To try and stabilize the condition, I have injections into my eyes at regular intervals. And I hate needles. With a passion. But that’s another direction in all of this. My eyes are their weakest during the morning and evening twilight hours. Walking around, no problem. Behind the wheel of a car? That is a different story. The world becomes a very scary, two-dimensional world. The location of oncoming traffic is a little difficult to discern. Thus, a scary and potentially dangerous situation for me. If I am out driving during the twilight hours, I will find somewhere to pull over until the world is much lighter or much darker.

As I write this, I am looking out the window to the west. The sun is setting, and the sky is a pretty salmon color. In a short while, everything will be set back into darkness. Over the weekend, I was an observer in Cat Treadwell’s Imbolc observance. You can find that on YouTube here. She had mentioned about living in the in-between spaces during this time. This resonated a chord with me, especially concerning my issues with depression.

My depression tends to take the form of a very dark environment, where you can see absolutely nothing. There is danger from objects you cannot see or even comprehend. However, like all my dark, depressive times, I know that eventually the environment will lighten – much like the time of twilight in the morning. So, I do take comfort in the knowledge that my depressive moods have a cycle of some type. Though the periods of darkness can be much longer in some cases in comparison to others. But I am also cautious during this time because I cannot completely trust my vision.

Imbolc is a time of new beginnings. I would also offer that it is a time to be cautious as well. Yes, Spring is coming. Yes, the world is getting lighter. However, weather patterns can sometimes fall back to the cold, dark aspects of Winter without a warning. Those moments can play havoc with one’s mind and mood. However, we can rest assured that Spring and the warmth of light will eventually come. Just as I can always count on twilight being over after a period – making driving not as dangerous for me.

The entire world is coming out of a long COVID nightmare. Vaccines are becoming available to the public in greater quantity. Yes, I am just as impatient as anyone else to get the two shots. However, we are in the twilight hours of this period of our collective nightmare. Much like my need to be patient for twilight to pass, so my eyes are better adjusted, I also must be patient for the vaccine. That means continuing my hyper-vigilance concerning protecting myself from others. I can only hope that others do the same.

I have electricity to keep my home lighted and heated during the Winter months. Granted, this time of the year is nowhere near as harsh as other parts of the world can get. After all, this is Texas. We’re not in the more northern climate zones. Winters here are generally mild. Summers…. well, that’s a time for a different post. However, I am reminded that prior to the wonders of modern electricity, lighting was achieved by candlelight. Imaging that for a moment, I can see where the light of the candle or even the light of the hearth was integral towards the promise of Spring. Light would be more abundant. Warmth would be far more plentiful. And that light was the measure of beating back the darkness.

My depressive state is already starting to have the first glimpses of light against my darkness. I am still cautious in my approach towards things being better than before. After all, there is always a chance of slipping back into the dark. My twilight seems to be on the near horizon. I cautiously hope. I realized that this also follows the cautious hope of the glimmer of Spring that Imbolc provides. So I am thankful that I have a compass, of sorts, to work with through Imbolc. For me, its something solid that I can grab a hold of. And that’s a good thing.

–T /|\

Photo by Dhivakaran S on

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