Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Writing, Teaching, Language, Landscape, Life

Early Morning Light and Stillness

21 Comments

Chile lights

Chile lights around kitchen window.

“The Solstice is a time of quietude, of firelight, and dreaming, when seeds germinate in the cold earth. . . All around us the season seems to reach a standstill — a point of repose.”

—John Matthews

Holiday party.

Holiday party.

The holiday season swirls around us. Days fill with shopping, baking, cooking, parties, photos, letters, expectations, missed loved ones, travel, plans, and changing plans.

Our own home fills with the sounds of all the above and the added presence of Wyatt now home from college. It brings a sense of deep peace to have all kids sleeping under the same roof.

With Noé—a time to dance.

With Noé—a time to dance.

Parties unfold with the season, a time to at last connect in ways that the busyness of life has conspired against in the previous months.

A time to dance.

Amidst all of the festivities, the potential for stillness awaits. I crave this stillness. Stillness if oxygen for my spirit. The Winter Solstice dawns with stillness, the shortest day of the year. With each new day, a bit more light.

Early morning writing.

Early morning writing.

Light is a constant early morning companion in my life. I wake early for time to write, time to be, time to sit alone with the candlelight in the pre-dawn dark. Only candles or strings of soft light are on in our home before the sun rises. I love this time of the day.

The pre-dawn dark holds promise, magic, stillness. Ideas, dreams, and paths to follow unfold onto the pages of my journals in the pre-dawn darkness. I sit and write now by candlelight. This is the time to listen to life and beyond. Like the Solstice, this time offers a point of repose.

In honor of the solstice, of the pre-dawn dark, of the companionship that comes among those who rise hours before the sun for creative time, some candles and light to share.

Early light angel.

Early light angel.

Early morning writing in journal.

Early morning writing in journal.

“When you possess light within, you see it externally.” —Anaïs Nin

Early light with glass heart..

Early light with glass heart.

Early light glass.

Early light glass.

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” —Edith Wharton

Early morning writing with stones.

Early morning writing with stones.

Early morning light on glass.

Early morning light on glass.

Early morning writing with coffee in treasured cup from Mallorca.

Early morning writing with coffee in treasured cup from Mallorca.

 

Pre-dawn hours with Mom and Dad.

Pre-dawn hours with Mom and Dad.

To the pre-dawn dark and all of the potential she holds and to candlelight. To the creativity that comes in these hours. To the companionship that lovers of the pre-dawn dark feel across the miles.

Early morning writing by lantern light.

Early morning writing by lantern light.

Golden early morning light.

Golden early morning light.

To stillness.

Early morning writing with fairy.

Early morning writing with fairy.

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Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores the beauty and tensions of language, culture, and place.

21 thoughts on “Early Morning Light and Stillness

  1. Pingback: Dreams and Deadlines in 2015 – Some Ideas on Organization | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. Lovely post and a reminder of how magical fragile light, as a contrast to seasonal darkness actually is. When 24 hour ‘light’ it is now easily available at the flick of a switch, candlelight and firelight give some inkling of how precious this ‘barely there’ illumination must have been to our ancestors at this time of year. Best wishes for the festive season and delighted to have discovered your blog Dawn.

    • Fifepsychologeography, “..magical fragile light.” So evocative and so true. Thank you for this. Your thoughts here on 24 hour light so easily accessible made me think of something a dear friend, and nurse practitioner, said to me after the birth of my first child. I thought I was getting enough sleep and she said, “Until 50 years ago and the invention of electricity, we lived by the cycles of day and night. Candles and wood were precious. Essentially, people went to sleep when the sun went down and woke when it rose. Our bodies have tens of thousands of years of these rhythms.” I had never thought of what she said and it made so much sense to me. Yes, this ‘barely there’ illumination our ancestors lived with at this time of the year. I, too, am so grateful to have discovered your own writing and work. Wishing you a lovely holiday season!

  3. Love to you and all and a very Merry Christmas! The quiet early morning is also a favorite time for me.
    Love
    Cathy

    • Dear Cathy, I love knowing that the early morning is also a favorite time for you. I’ll think of you as I sit with my candles, knowing that you are there. Much love to you and the whole family and Merry Christmas! Love you, Dawn

  4. Beautiful, Dawn! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Dawn,
    And for those who are nervous about open flames in their homes ( i.e. candles) such as my husband, there are the candles with little flickering LED lights with an on/off switch that really are quite lovely nowadays!!!!! I add this comment in a playful tone (because I LOVE real candles!!) but must say the fake ones still can bring the essence of light we all need. May not just the essence of light but the REAL light be part of you and yours throughout the holidays and into the new year.
    Love, Barb

    • Barb, you are right, the LEDs are very realistic. I few Christmases ago, I was visiting Mom and she had a candle glowing between the kitchen and living room portal. We’d go out a couple of hours in the evening and when we returned, I noticed she had left the candle going. This was incomprehensible to me because she thinks modern Christmas lights will burn the house down if you leave them on. This occurred a couple of nights in a row when she told me they were battery powered with a four hour timer. She sure had this Smokey the Bear park ranger fooled!

      • Dan, oh, now I definitely need to get some of these LEDs. As I read this, I thought of that soft glow in your Mom’s kitchen. What a beautiful sense of home, family, and Christmas. And a timer! Oh, the possibilities… Thanks so much for sharing this memory and this idea, Dan. One day you’ll see one of these appear in early morning writing. Holiday blessings and warm wishes to you and yours!

    • Hey Barb, I had to chuckle as I read this. I heard my dad’s voice saying to me, “90% of all house fires start with candles.” Sounds like he and Ti are of the same mind! I didn’t know about the little flickering LED lights and will check these out. Thanks so much for this! It is that essence of light, I love how you phrased this. Ah, and the REAL light to you and yours this holiday season, too. Much love! Dawn

  6. Dan, the first light of a candle has become a foundation rhythm in life. In all of the unknowns and busyness of life, this is one of those things that now just Is. I savor this time, no matter what lies ahead. Oh, that winter darkness in northern latitudes… I have a sense of this through the ranch in South Dakota. The sun sets in the winter before 4:00. I do think there is something deeply ancestral, as you mention here, about the candlelight, the sense of lengthening days, the sense of surviving and moving beyond the darkest day of the year. Thank you for bringing the pagan and non-pagan roots to this time. So beautifully expressed, “…going to the light is in our DNA.” Here’s to the light and lengthening days. So grateful to share the wonder and potential of the pre-dawn darkness.

  7. Dawn, how wonderful your first light of the day is a candle rather than a glaring fluorescent bulb and a computer monitor! During these times of winter darkness where in northern latitudes, the night is twice as long as the daylight, I imagine our ancestors might look at this day, as well as at Christmas, as turning a corner. Maybe they were thinking, “In a month, I can get by with one less candle per evening” or maybe it was one less armload of cordwood. Anyway, there is a natural cause for celebration for surviving another round of the darkest days of the year, whether it is of “pagan” or “non-pagan” roots, going to the light is in our DNA.

  8. On this Solstice Day I wish you and your family Peace, a Merry Christmas, and the best of everything in the coming New Year! And, of course, LOVE TO ALL!
    Liz

  9. It sometimes slips my mind that it’s solstice. Thanks for this lovely reminder. But I think my body knows, because I’ve been craving the darkness, the stillness, the solitude more so than ever lately. And I’m honoring it! What a way to start the day.

    • Rachael, “…craving the darkness, the stillness, the solitude more so than ever lately.” We share this craving. Yes, I think our bodies do know. I’ll think of you across the miles in the dark stillness and solitude and be grateful to know you are there honoring this time. There is a deep companionship there.

  10. Deb, how wonderful to hear from you! Thanks so much for connecting. Happy, Happy Holidays to you and yours, as well!
    Love,
    Dawn

  11. I really enjoyed this! Thanks.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  12. Happy Holidays to You and your Family, Dawn!

    Love,

    Deb Sieck

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