Streaked, salted, grimed: it’s time to clean the windows of my flat. I keep delaying, wondering, what is the point? Especially when the weather has been so bad. I congratulated myself on my foresight when the snowstorm came at the start of the month, adding to the thickening film of sooty dust. Looking down onto the moving figures on the street below was like watching an old, flickering black and white movie, such was the curtain of dirt obscuring my view. And now the moment has arrived. Some very special visitors are coming; ones who will notice such things. I welcome the gentle push of a forthcoming inspection to drive me to complete the task. It will be an altogether happier space when done, for light and happiness go hand in hand. Who doesn’t feel more hopeful when the curtains are pulled, allowing clean, clear glass an unimpeded pathway for shafts, beams and slices of light to brighten your space? It makes a huge difference to one’s humour, letting the light in. Someone once described it to me thus: “a room inflating with light: white, opaque light drifting like snow drifts through the slats of the window.” And that is what I’m seeking when my windows gleam – an brightened, inflated room.
We are just one week away from the Spring Equinox. The time that marks the tilt of the earth so that those in the northern hemisphere begin to enjoy longer days, when the sun crosses the celestial equator, south to north. It is almost the point when there will be more daylight in each 24 hours than there is darkness. And doesn’t it feel good? A time of new direction, growth, inspiration and light; light we must notice, watch, seek out, learn from. The old fashioned name for this time of year was, ‘The Hungry Gap’, named because there were few, if any, crops to be harvested. In early spring, we would live off the last of what was in storage as we sowed and planted for the year ahead. It feels to me like a metaphor for all that light we had ‘banked’ over the summer and into the autumn to take us through the darkness of the winter. The positive effects of it have long since vanished (for me at any rate) and I am hungry for the higher, longer, brighter light.
And whilst the most obvious way to bathe in light is to wash the windows and let the sun pour in, those whom you choose to spend time with can also be givers or takers of light. There are those people who fill you with light – make you feel better, warmer, more protected. Persons who make you feel more awake, and present, and aware: adding sparkle and brightness to your underlying happiness. And there are those who – consciously or otherwise – cover you with shade, try to eclipse you, keep you in the dark. Do yourself justice: don’t walk in the shade of another, and wash your windows.
‘Let There Be Light’, by Alison Cassidy
Baking the earth
In your eyes”