Evening Light in the Summer
I love the morning light the best, unless I'm sitting outdoors of an evening. Then, it’s evening light I love. There is no shortage of poems about evening light. We all likely return to Jane Kenyon’s “Let Evening Come.” And the evening refers, almost always, to our life, the lateness. At what point are we? Well, who ever knows. Is it early evening? Late? Still summer? or fall? Not winter yet.
I also like Thomas Centolella’s “In the Evening We Shall Be Examined on Love” which is a line from St. John of the Cross. Fail at anything but love, it’s been said. What else matters in the end but how well we have loved, how broadly, how openly, how patiently, how truly.
The shift from evening into night is wonderful – one of the miracles. And H.D. gets at that in her poem “Evening," the way the light moves from “flower to flower” and then later, “shadow seeks shadow.” In Eamon Grennan’s poem “Summer Evening” we see the flowers stripped “of any discretion.” There is an exactness to the evening light, he tells us, and there are “luminous declarations.” So there should be.
There is a clarity to the light in the evening that is unexpected. There are luminous declarations to be made.
This week someone on Facebook (forgive me if it was you) shared a quotation by Alice Munro who responded to an interviewer who called her middle-aged in her 50s by saying, she didn’t expect to live to 100.
So here I am in the evening then, and thinking about the word: evening. Is there an evening out to life? A greater stability. Do things start to balance?
There is time yet, one hopes, for declarations, to follow the light from flower to flower.
There is time yet to be bold and surprising and sublime. To seize the evening light.