excuse me, you’re in my light

A little over a month ago, Frances, mastermind of She Who Blogs (insert evil laugh here), wrote that she was like a modern day cave dweller who prefers the dark to the light. And it got me thinking about how I feel on the subject.

And this photo came to mind.

three trees in calabria(check out more great photos for Phoctober at The Moon Topples!)

Aren’t these trees spectacular? I’ve never seen others like them around here–just these three standing tall, together, meters above their closest rivals. It’s hard to tell from this shot, but this is actually very high up, and the trees below these must’ve been here a mighty long time–so imagine how old “We Three” (as I call them) have been around.

I love the way the light streams through the tallest one, as if he’s protecting his smaller companions behind. Don’t worry lads, I’ll take the sunshine! I like it best anyway! Or is he selfishly hogging all the light? Hmm….

Frances’s post has been resonating with me since then, and I’m sure the change in season has something to do with that. I don’t know about where you are, but here in southern Italy, the weather can change quite quickly. One moment sunny, bright, and cloudless, the next dark, grey, and threatening.

Don’t you just love that?

I do. Except when I have laundry hanging out.

But I find that the autumn weather seems to somehow know what I need. Just when I’ve had too much sun, too many sunny days in a row, I wake up to a foggy, cloudy, dull morning–and yet gleaming with possibilities because I know it’s going to be a good writing day.

I have to admit that I easily tire of the sun, which can make a day at the beach sheer torture for me.

And yet I also love waking up to a sunny morning–works better than caffeine!–and for my working area, it *must* be well-lit. My mother wouldn’t have it any other way. Ah, and no fluorescent!

But when it’s time to wind down, I and my eyes are relieved to see the moon rising higher in the sky and the sun resting for the evening, exhausted after all that shining. And then a candle flickering or a fireplace glowing is the best lighting imaginable.

After the sun disappears and the fires are out, I love to sleep in pitch black, where even an innocent goodnight kiss can be exciting because of the sheer surprise of it. If it’s a little cool so I need a warm blanket and a willing cuddling partner, all the better.

I used to be afraid of complete darkness, but thank goodness I’ve gotten over that because now it’s one of my favorite parts of the day, er, night.

Tell me, what is your relationship with the light…and dark?

Buon weekend!


[tags]light, dark, light and dark, black and white photos[/tags]

30 Beans of Wisdom to “excuse me, you’re in my light”
  1. Giulia

    What a pretty photo. I am not a fan of the dark. Not because I am scared, but because I am blind as a bat in the dark. My night vision is TERRIBLE, and I hate having to put on my glasses to see clearly! UGH

  2. Sara

    My relationship? My life would suck if I didn’t have some of each. And I mean that both literally (in view of my profession) and metaphorically. 🙂

    Nice photo. Thanks.

  3. BipolarLawyerCook

    I am totally like a cat– I could sleep and/or lie in the sun all day, except that I don’t have fur to protect me from a sunburn.

    I am a bit of a dark-phobe. I don’t see well in the dark, and I get really disoriented waking up in the dark. And I get a wicked case of SAD, so I’ve got natural lightbulbs on in my office all the time. Yay, sunlight!

  4. Figs Olives Wine

    Beautiful photo! I love the light/ darkness right as it’s about to rain. And I love candle/ firelight at night.

  5. The Moon Topples

    Dark for me, thank you. In lighting conditions, chocolate, you name it.

    And thanks for playing along in the Phoctobery realm.

  6. Wanderlust Scarlett

    I love the trees, that’s such a cool shot!!

    Amen with the sunny work area and no fluorescent. You’re speaking Scarlett there, sister.

    What kind of candles do you have around the house? Scented? white wax? do you make your own?

    I think it would be interesting to do one with olive oil and kitchen spices… rosemary or something.

    Do they make candles like that already?

    I love first light and fading light, but not direct light so much; and I *LOVE* the night… watching the heavens and looking into eternity.

    Winter constellations are starting to rise late at night now, and it’s soooo pretty.

    Good post!
    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  7. Jeni

    Great photo and post to go with it too. Too bad you weren’t here in our region of central PA last night – read about it in my post earlier today – when the lights went out! Boy, I had forgotten how darned dark it really gets here when the one lone street light in our part of town isn’t able to burn! Black as pitch – for sure!

  8. Roam2Rome

    Sunrises are such a treat, and I love to sip a cup of coffee as the sun rises in the horizon… then I finally go to sleep 🙂

    Rome’s hours keep me working all night, so I live during the night and there’s such a calming feeling about it. I enjoy it, but I try to get out with family when there’s light (like right now) but that means little to no sleep… I’d prefer a balance of the two, really.

  9. anno

    What a beautiful picture — gorgeous trees!

    We are in big sky country, without drapes yet, and I am discovering that I am totally photosensitive, awake early, and ready for action by 5 or 6 a.m.; time for housework, errands, phone calls, and lessons. Just after the sun peaks, something in my soul stills, and I’d prefer to study or write. Evenings (or cool & rainy days) are times for sitting on the sofa with an excellent book… or an excellent companion. By 11:00 pm, I am yawning, though, a dull host, ready for bed.

  10. Sparky Duck

    Looks like a poplar tree.

    I have always been a little more comfortable in the dark, maybe its calming, maybe you just realize that the stress of the day needs to sleep sometimes too

  11. misplaced misfit

    I am most definitely more alive at night – there’s something inherently beautiful about being awake when most everyone else is asleep – the modern day sounds are at a bare minimum (unless you’re in a huge city) and I feel like I can relax and breathe freely.

  12. IRENE

    First of all I like the photo. Mediterranean pines are so strong and muscular like her men.
    Second, the light passing through the leves is one of my favorite photo ops.
    As for the light, I have in the recen tyear or so moved towards having total darkness when I go to sleep. No electric clocks, no night lights in the room, only in the corridor outside.
    And I am a night owl when it comes to reading and snacking and all the aelf indulging pleasures of life with one exception: shopping!
    Happy weekend.

  13. Eryn

    I have to agree with you that waking up to a sunny morning is grand. especially if it’s a non-workday and the possibilities of how you can enjoy the sunshine are endless.

    however, i also do enjoy a good thunderstorm after a plethora of sunny days leading up to it.

    great post!

  14. My Melange

    Well, since you asked… I really love the sunshine…and I am happy when it is there, but I tire in the sun as well…and I don’t like it hot, hot either. But I get depressed in the winter if it is snowing or raining for too long without a little sunshine!

    I like the dark/night. Night is a mysterious time.

  15. Wanderlust Scarlett

    Ciao Bella!

    I have something for you over at my place!

    It’s not clouds.

    Or more colored leaves. But there are some of those there to wander among, if you are so inclined.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  16. Madelyne

    I love the first light of the day. At the moment dawn breaks at about 4:45am and sometimes I’ll get up & go walking around the neighbourhood cause the air is fresh & everythings still quiet and just listen to all the animals waking. I love that time best.

  17. qualcosa di bello

    you mean i have to choose???

    i love the light of october…its perfect slant from dawn to dusk…the way the sunbeams stream into the southern exposure windows so warmly…the way night falls just now

    & the dark…so velvety…& perfect with a delicate early moon hung in the fading western light…the candles & the fire, like you mention, so perfect against the deepening dark.

  18. Gattina

    Nice to meet you ! I am married with an Italian but from the north (Lago di Garda) since 38 years, lol ! I had to learn Italian too because I wanted to participate in family discussions. We live in Belgium and I am German we also still speak german together. I have been in Calabria long ago in the 60th and I can tell you at that time I would never ever thought about staying there ! It was worse than the middle age, lol !

  19. Leanne

    I love the night time when the street lights are just starting to come on and when the sky is so clear you can see lots of stars…

    I am so much more a night then morning person. I would much rather see the sun set then rise. Actually I have only seen the sun rise when I have not yet been to bed from the night before!

  20. Taffiny

    At my Nana’s house there were two trees side by side, I called them, The Two Sisters (one always held on, keeping her dead dried leaves close around her all winter, the other let go, and stood brave and bare), they were my season keepers, I measured the turning of a year through watching them, how I loved those trees. It is nice to see you love yours as well.

    I love the light, but if it is too direct for too long, my head does start to hurt.
    I love most the interplay of light reflected and shadow, like sunlight off of water, or at dusk when lights hits one side of trees and buildings, and dark clings to the other, making everything seem fuller, more solid, and more ethereal all at the same time.
    By February I start to get depressed over the lack of light, the outdoors a constant grey, only varying in degrees of grey. Then the sun will break through one morning, and purples and reds will appear, and all of a sudden I am walking around singing.

    I am okay with the dark, as in moonlight, starlight, when the sky, the world, still holds a glow I can navigate by, but I fear complete darkness, if I can’t see my own hand in front of me, I am terrified. Always have been, as I child I had a nightlight I didn’t give it up till 7th grade, and only then because others forced me to. Always afraid too to shut my eyes, to surrender to that darkness of sleep, where I could not be ever vigilant and keep watch over myself. (No real life reason for such a fear, I was just born with it) (it goes as far back as my memory does).

    I really enjoyed your lovely words, and the three trees. Evocative your cozy dark.

  21. soccer mom in denial

    Like Giulia my night vision is terrible but I love both the light and the dark. Except in the dead of winter when it becomes dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. Then I’m blue.

  22. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    Great photo. I like to wake up super early when the sun is just rising. In Rome I love working out before all the motorinos are on the road. Something about the way the rays from the rising sun hit the buildings of Rome, takes my breathe away everytime.

    Same thing when I lived in NYC. Walking to the gym while the city woke was just great. Although after a few days, snow in the city becomes a pain (the dirty slush is no fun), the morning of a fresh snow fall in Central Park was one of my favorite things to see.

    I am also a fan of working with natural light.

    I get cranky when the weather is the same everyday. In L.A. it’s either sun non-stop or June Gloom weather when the marine layer is so think we don’t see the sun for days. Boring. I like variety.

    At night when it’s time to go to bed, I like it to be as dark as possible. I actually cover the light from the alarm clock. I don’t have a TV in my bedroom..too much noise and light.

    Like Sara I like a little of both light and dark….how could I appreciate one without the other?

  23. Shameless

    We all need that light and shade … that’s one of my big themes. I try to have both. Are you coming to play, btw, at the writers circle and helping to shape Grace? We’re excited. 🙂

  24. Rebecca

    There are a few things dark that I like…pitch darkness in which to sleep, black clothing, milkless coffee, even dark and naked tree trunks in the winter (so much character there)…but dark days? No. They have a way of making me feel down and discouraged and I need the sun to get really excited about life. When these dark days are here I have to force myself to go out and walk or hop over to the tanning salon for a little dose of light therapy!!

  25. Gil

    Beautiful photo! Kind of reminds me of the famous lone Cyprus on the Pacific Coast Highway in California.

    Any puppies yet?

  26. sognatrice

    Giulia, heh, I’m blind as a bat in the light…maybe I like the dark because it evens the playing field 😉

    Sara, agreed!

    BLC, remember that animals can get sunburn too! SAD is sad, indeed–I’d be willing to donate some of my light if you need it 😉

    Amanda, there is something lovely about the sky just before and after the rain–excellent point 🙂

    Maht, well I’m more of a milk chocolate girl myself, which means more dark chocolate for you. Phoctober is phun!

    Scarlett, the candles around my house are pretty much all gifts or whatever I’ve picked up around here (I prefer one scented burning with other non-scented, but the selection of scented around here is terrible). Tea lights, candlesticks, whatever I can find. I’m not picky…I’ve never made my own candles. Or, not yet, I should say…rosemary sounds like a lovely idea 🙂 Oh, and I’ll be right over to your place….

    Jeni, I can’t believe I didn’t mention blackouts in my post–I used to love them when I was a kid. Now they kind of freak me out, more for the threat of lightning strikes than the dark though.

    Roam, sounds like you have a *special* relationship with the light and dark right now. Can’t say as though I envy you, but best of luck 🙂

    Anno, sounds like we have a lot in common! When it’s light, I wake up…thus making my bedroom like a bunker 😉

    Sparky Duck, I think there is something to the dark letting the stresses rest too. And those are actually pine trees. I’ve seen one by itself here and there, but never a small group like this, which is why I find it so special and lovely 🙂

    Misfit, ooh, the quiet–I’m with you there! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    Irene, you know I used to be a night owl especially with reading, but the older I get, the more I enjoy experiencing the early mornings. Go figure. Guess that’s a good thing if I’m thinking about having children 😉

    Eryn, glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for stopping by 🙂

    Robin, sounds like we have even more in common 🙂

    Madelyne, oh I absolutely *love* walking around (with my doggies) when many people are still asleep–remember I live in a place with a lot of elderly farmer types, so they tend to be up no matter what time I leave the house!

    Qualcosa, you don’t have to choose at all! We all know that balance and moderation is best…and you’ve beautifully described why that absolutely goes for light and dark.

    Gattina, hah, I’d love to tell you things have changed greatly since the 60s…but…um….actually there is a lot more infrastructure from what I’m told, so that’s an improvement. Let’s just say we’re untouched and unspoiled down here, and that’s why we love it 😉

    Leanne, give me a starry, starry night and I’m a happy, happy girl! You should really try getting up at sunrise sometime–it’s such an exhilarating experience.

    Taffiny, oh lovely trees for you too! How lucky you were! And I’m with you on the head hurting from too much light…this is why I don’t like to hang out at the beach too often. And yes, light playing off dark (or vice versa) is always a treat…we’re talking so much about light and dark, we’ve neglected to mention their offspring…shadows 😉

    Soccer Mom, I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of the 4:30 sunset either 🙁 Thanks for stopping by!

    NYC, I used to turn my alarm clock (with big red numbers) away from me or else I couldn’t sleep! Now I don’t have one at all, using my cell phone as my everything 🙂

    Shameless, absolutely! I’m working on it!

    Rebecca, good point about black clothing 🙂 But really, light from the tanning salon cheers you up? Hey, whatever works!

    Gil, thanks, and the Puppy Watch continues….

  27. LUCY

    I love the way the sunrises each morning. I love the way it sets in the sky at night, the reds, oranges that happen, the fuscias!I love the night when the moon is full in the sky bright and white or red and low. These are my favourite times of night and day.

  28. elena jane

    i’m not keen on the dark either, i get spooked very easily by strange noises. thankfully with kids in the house, i have an excuse for nightlights.
    i love the sun in the winter, that SAD gets me every year. i’m loving our continued sunshine here atm.
    rainy days (like mondays) always get me down….

    pretty photo….

  29. Jen of A2eatwrite

    I love the fall and I agree with everything about the abrupt changes and giving me what I need. And I need both light and dark.

  30. sognatrice

    Lucy, yes, the colors of the sky! I love them too 🙂

    Elena Jane, strange noises used to freak me out much more but now I live in a place where there are really so few strange noises, I’m spoiled!

    Jen, balance is wonderful, isn’t it?

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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Homemade apple butter
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