Golden Hour

Nature reminds us that magic exists before and right after the darkness.

Golden hour refers to the hour after sunrise and before sunset when the sun is softer and redder compared to when it’s higher in the sky.

Also called magic hour, it is a photographer and filmmaker’s dream.

I first noticed this in a visceral way during a walk with T in fall 2016.

He still sat in a stroller and we were in our old neighbourhood. The leaves had turned fiery yellow, red and orange. It was a sunny late afternoon and kids played loudly in the park.

The sun cast this magical light on the leaves – pictured at the top and below – and it had this incredibly soothing effect.

Phone pictures never do nature justice. But they provide an imprint in our memories that help evoke a specific moment and feeling in time.

On this day, I was lamenting that I was 3/4 into my parental leave. I reminded myself that there was still a lot of quality fun time left with T.

And indeed, there was. Our first Christmas together, our first family trip (a friend’s destination wedding) and celebrating T’s birthday together for the first time – two days before I returned to work.

Conceptually, golden hour exists all around us.

Autumn gifts us with one last display of magic before the dark days of winter. Daylight gets longer in the early days of Spring.

From T and my walk this Saturday.

Golden hour reminds me to not fear the darkness, in whatever forms it takes in our lives.

Because there is a golden light that precedes and immediately follows it.

It reminds me to let go of the dread of an end and to enjoy every last moment before the last grain of sand flows down through the hourglass.

This feels and looks like art to me.

The last two weeks, after I shut off my work laptop and came down from my upstairs office, I passed by our kitchen window, which overlooks our backyard.

On the sunny days, I noticed the golden hour light blanket the yellow leaves on our tall maple trees.

I stood and took in the fleeting moments before I went to pick T up from daycare.

20 thoughts on “Golden Hour

  1. They are all Golden and Magical. Beautiful images and colors. I too love the Golden Hour. I wish I can notice them and enjoy them often but for most, it’s only when I am off work or having vacations that I see them. Could be my schedule or just the mood. Take care my friend. Happy November to you and your family.

    1. Thank you! I hear you that timing and mood makes such a difference. And life perspective too. Something I definitely noticed and took for granted as a kid and youth. I see the world more differently now and appreciate the simple magic that the world offers us.

      Happy November to you too. Where has this year flown?! Hope you are doing well and that another wonderful outing is nearing your horizon!

      1. Yes, where did this year go? November is actually sprinting towards December. Had to do something memorable to celebrate it. My Christmas decors are up. Christmas songs are on. Looks like I’m the one rushing for the Holiday Spirit. We’re doing okay here. It feels like no more covid to be honest , other than wearing mask at work and indoor stores. A contrast to last year at similar months. Take care and have a great weekend.

      2. I expected your decorations would be up! I recall you put up your autumn display during the summer. We all need that boost to get us through the darker days. My son and hubby are decorating the tree as we speak. 😆

      3. I enjoyed reading your Christmas Tree post and the beautiful ornaments of places, memories and School Art and Crafts. It brings out the JOY in this most wonderful time of the year.

      4. Thank you! I was inspired by your recent post as well and your summer post about celebrating Autumn magic!

        I didn’t put this in my post but I know you’d appreciate this tidbit: We also have a Christmas Parol that we brought home from Philippines. But because of the different electricity requirements, we aren’t quite able to make it work. Christmas in Philippines is quite magical as you recall with all the lights!

  2. The sun definitely looks magical through all the reds, oranges and yellows from the changing colours of the leaves. The fall is my favourite time of the year and it’s nice to have such a beautiful display before the landscape looks barren and becomes covered with snow. Even though it’s getting colder outside each night, I’m happy that the sun is still shining. We might as well enjoy the remaining days of fall and those golden hours while we can.

    1. Thank you, Linda! The sun juxtaposed with fall colour truly is a wonderful magical thing. One of these days, we hope to do a fall weekend trip up in Killarney as I hear it’s beautiful there at peak fall colours.

      The weather is surprisingly still pretty great this week. So enjoy every moment, even the shorter darker days!

      1. We’re actually heading to Killarney the first weekend in December. We rented one of the heated cabins again. I hope there’s a bit of snow, not so much that it’s a struggle to hike through, but just a light dusting. I would love to go during peak fall colours as well. Maybe next year. Enjoy the rest of your week. Linda

      2. I’ll need to look into those cabins! Thanks for the reminder. And have a great time. It’ll be here soon enough! 🙂

      3. Killarney has yurts as well, but the heated cabins are so much nicer and don’t cost that much more. There are only two of them, so you likely have to book months in advance.

  3. Beautiful meditation on the cycles of days and life! Such an enjoyable read. I especially loved this reminder, “Because there is a golden light that precedes and immediately follows it.” Perfect!

    Happy weekend, Ab!

    1. Thank you, Wynne. I know you enjoyed a beautiful sunset recently as well. It’s the simple pleasures of life! 👍

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