Tracing Sunlight


As a child, it was my firm belief that the sun was the most beautiful thing in the world.  I would regularly wake up early to watch it rise sparkling through the trees.  In the relatively flat land of my childhood home, it seemed impossibly close, just beyond the belt of trees.  Midday was more difficult.  I would gaze into the blue sky above the horizon and tilt my head back.  But I never came close to actually seeing the sun at its height.  I gave up and watched its rays glitter on the surface of the creek or dance among the shadows of the leaves.

It was a wonderful thing to me when I learned that light was an actual physical thing which travels outward from its source.  I remember thinking with awe, when light fell on my hand, that I was touching part of the sun.  To be forced to fear light, seemed a most horrible fate: the fear of beauty itself.  The imagery of light played a huge part in the stories and poetry I wrote at that time.  One poem, which I threw away soon after writing for fear of anyone finding and reading something I held so personally, was a retelling of the Psyche and Eros myth.  It pictured Eros as the sun, beautiful, but too deadly for a mortal to come near in his true form.

Now, my eyes have become easily strained and over sensitive to light.  Occasionally, I have to wear a pair of dark sunglasses for days on end, even when indoors.  On good days, a single glance through a window at midday can give me a headache.  I increasingly live in a half light.  At first, the lack of freedom irked me.  I longed revel in the midday sun, to tilt my head back and see it’s glow through my eyelids, to watch it glitter on the water.  But as I sit in my dim room, a faint glow of the midday sun reflected from the lawn outside sifts through the closed curtains, and the wonder of the sun’s beauty returns to me.  I may now be the Psyche of my poem, closed away from the full sun, but still its indirect rays reach me, bringing beauty with them.  I reach out my hand to the light, and trace, in my mind, the unbroken thread that leads toward its source.

In the Bible, God Himself is pictured as too holy for a human to look upon.  Even the seraphim cover their eyes in His presence.  Yet, though we cannot now stand before Him, like the sun, His rays reach us.  We can when we hold in our hands a tiny new leaf, just emerging from its sheaf,  trace an unbroken thread to the very mind of God.

~Jane Blake