“Lights are functional — everyday objects in our rooms and on our streets. Yet lights can be powerful symbols: signs of life, curiosity, and discovery. ” So goes the challenge description for this week. My first instinct was to think of the photos I took New Year’s Eve of candlelight at the table. I’ve been experimenting with low key lighting and how to bump my camera settings to accommodate that. But I’ve already posted some of those. My next thought was to post one I took yesterday, and I think it’ll be my choice. True to my own natural preference, the light I’ve chosen is the very essence and source of life, curiosity, and discovery – the Sun. At this time of year, we drift farther away from our sustaining Star. A gauzy shroud interferes. We are in a state of indirect, ethereal contact. Our longing is enhanced and unsatisfied. We pause to ponder the diminishment. Physically, we may suffer on a cellular level. Emotionally, we may avoid or embrace this spiritual journey into greater darkness.
I was walking through the Arboretum at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I came to the crest of a hill from the north and descended towards the Visitor Center when I saw this tree lit from the south by the winter sun. I hope you like this interpretation of Illumination: