Fall Alignment – My Private Solstice

It happens every fall, this week, probably this day. I see it coming, even months ahead. As the day nears, I watch each morning – how soon? This morning, I first woke at 6am. I wanted to get up then. Lucky made me a morning person, against all odds, but cold, like the grave, is stronger than either of us. I looked at the clock again at 7:46am. When 7:47am clicked over, I got up and stepped out into the hall at the perfect moment, the moment of alignment.

How many times a day do we fail to see these moments when light strikes a mundane spot, turning it into an altar? I observe this special moment each fall, a week before Halloween, and again, each spring, about a week after Valentine’s Day.

Nature’s part in this display exceeds the other parts, but a sequence of steps brought this together. The house built with a door facing east, like half the houses on the block. The niche for a telephone and a laughably thin phone book. The door, added later, with a narrow window at just the right height, just the right shape. The glass pane with two blue spots, a gift from a bridesmaid, added years later to cover that narrow window. The katchina which largely replaced the chaotic clutter I contribute, the little treasures I handle daily and the older stuff I can’t let go of. All made sacred by 30 seconds of light twice a year. I’m grateful to bear witness.

For the first time (in 2009), the circle is notched in the upper-left by one of the bars on our new security door, the latest addition to the layers. The gap marks the inevitability of change and loss.

See the collection of photos grow twice a year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjhinton/tags/niche/

Updated 10/29/09: See the change 4 days later: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjhinton/4055208123/

First published 10/25/09. Updated 10/26/10. On 10/26/10, I took the first photos at 7:47am — true story. Seems to be the magic moment.