27 January

One of the most beautiful things at this time of the year is the way that the light changes how everything looks. The trees may be bare, the fields are muddy, the streets are grey and even the daffodils and snowdrops have yet to break through and add some colour to the world. But almost as if the universe knows that the bleakness of a grey winter day cannot be endured without some relief, we are given the gift of winter sunlight.

The sun is lower in the sky and thus the angle at which the rays hit the earth is much less acute, giving a beautiful gentle and almost watery effect to the light. If there is even a smattering of frost or snow on the ground the effect can be magical. Denise Levertov describes it perfectly in her poem “February evening in New York”,

 As the stores close, a winter light

opens air to iris blue


Only twelve words, but for me, they sum up that very peculiar light that is unique to the depths of winter. Today, go outside and see your neighbourhood in a new light, the winter light, the light that will soon be gone but which can transform the mundane into the magical in the blink of an eyelid.

2 thoughts on “27 January

  1. Sometimes the most gorgeous poems are the short ones. And yes, the winter light is something to behold. I don’t get to see it as much living on a tropical island, but I remember those days of faint grey light with spots of sunshine.