Much as fall is my favorite time of year, twilight is my favorite time of day. The precipice between day and night has always seemed full of possibility. I am, as you might guess, a night owl.
I discovered the word gloaming during an involved romance novel phase. I believe it was a torrid Scottish affair, with not much plot, and a lot of racing over the heather strewn hills in pursuit of one another. The word though seemed to describe the time if day so much more aptly than dusk or twilight. Dusk and twilight only seemed to describe the color, or how much light was present. Gloaming, though, described the experience. The moment the sun drops behind the hills in the west and the light becomes diffuse and indirect. The way the street lights begin to come on, and how you can see into people’s houses in the moments before they close the curtains. The hush that falls as the daytime sounds fade and the birds stop singing. The feeling of resolution of the day.
I used to head to work about that time of day. In the autumn, I was unlocking the theatre and awaiting the actors arrival right about the time the sun would be touching the mountains. In those days I would sit on the loading dock with a cigarette and a cup of coffee getting ready to start my day as I watched other folks walk home. As full dark fell I would head inside to start my tasks and begin to set up the world of the show. This time of setting up mimicked the quiet of the gloaming. The pause before something else starts.
These days, I barely have a moment to note the sun is down before it’s time to make dinner and sort out the kids at the end of the day. Now it’s my favorite time if day because Daddy is coming home soon, and bedtime approaches. I miss the ritual of watching the night fall. Whole I may not be able to do coffee and cigarettes, perhaps adding so thing to our daily routine would not be amiss.