I am rarely in the car alone. But when I am I really love to listen to NPR. This weekend I was coming home from a photoshoot when I stumbled across On Being. Krista Tippett interviewed storyteller and author Kevin Kling, who was born with only one arm and later nearly died in a motorcycle accident. While he was speaking, he said something that made my brain come to an abrupt halt. One of those things that might have slipped right by me a million times, but was perfectly perfect for me in that moment.
Krista read an excerpt of his written words back to him: Remember being a kid…we dance with all we have, we wear Superman outfits to the grocery store. As children we are closer in time to the Creator. Did you have thoughts like that too when you were a child?
And he replied: I think so. I think I realized who I connected with. And I connected with my grandparents. And I think we were in the same light. I mean, I was in the dawn and they were in the twilight, but we were in the same light. And because of that, they’re heading to the Creator and I’m coming from the Creator, and it seemed because of that we spoke a very similar language. And I wondered even as I was getting older and as I looked back, where that goes…because it does go. We become really entrenched in this world. And then as time goes on and we come to the nearer the end of our lives, we go back to that point.
I love watching my children with my grandparents. This weekend we went on a picnic and splashed in the creek and rode the ‘tractor’. (I remember the excitement of riding on the trailer with my brother and cousins so many years ago and my voice catches a bit.) Listening to my children talk to my Nana and Papa. Watching them watch each other, a delicate dance that is…yes…in the same light. That one phrase has colored my heart-eyes and I pray that I’ll never see without it again. The soft glow of dawn and the soft glow of dusk. The “magic hours” not only for photography but for life – when things are warmer, more naturally wonderful.
I didn’t understand or appreciate the gentleness of those golden hours of childhood, but I get it now. I am soaking up the high noon sun and although I am in the harsh middle-of-the-day light where self-doubt and insecurity hide in the sharp shadows, I am grateful for the sunshine. It saps me of my energy at times, rejuvenates me at others. It can scorch me if I’m not careful. But it’s not all bad, far from it really. But I can’t stop myself from squinting my eyes, looking backward or forward to the golden hours. I feel blessed to be witness to someone else’s golden hour. And, lucky for me, sometimes their golden light spills over onto me.