Sunset is the time when our sun simply goes below the horizon, setting in the west (it rises in the east kind of, not strictly true!) Dusk is different and can be after sunset (twilight). Light from the sun scatters blue light, but as red has the longest wavelength of light to our eyes, we see more red, which is why sunsets are red or orange.
Is the ‘red sky at night, shepherd’s delight?’ true? Yes, according to the Met Office. This is due to high pressure moving in from the west, so the next day is usually dry and good.
‘The Golden Hour’ is known as the photographer’s paradise, just as the angle of the sun is bathed in warm yellow light, in the hour before sunset.
Wildlife also love sunset, with many birds and wildlife needing the watch the sunset to know when to sleep, navivate, migrate etc. Light pollution has made this very difficult. Some creatures (like sea turtles) navigate by the moon, so have been seen to leave beaches and try to lay their eggs in multi-storey car parks, thinking the light is the moon.
a printmaker’s day & night
Wild Light: A Printmaker’s Day & Night is a unique book of over 70 original illustrations to invite you to look at how light changes the world around us, and how that changes us in turn.
Find inspiration from how the light changes in the mornings, evenings and at midday. The bouncing light of a cloud-filled storm sky can change a seascape through a palette of blues, greys and turquoises. The cool summer moonlight across a back garden shed sends long shadows that change the mood of the garden. The low light of an English February afternoon or the bright sharp mid-morning light of the Cornish seaside, can affect our moods.
Angela Harding is a print artist, who trained Fine Art and went onto study printmaker, and now lives in the small county of Rutland, where she works in a studio at the bottom of her garden.
Treat yourself to a copy of the the book Moonlight Gratitude to end your day, in the same way. Enter sleep peacefully after you reflect on the day with these calming meditations, gentle imagery and soothing text:
As the moon casts its silvery glow across the water, the ocean moves and responds to the pull. The tides rise and fall with the cycles of the moon. Be like the ocean; fluid and forgiving. Wash away whatever is holding you back. Forgive others and let go of the pain. Release all bitterness. Allow your breath to become rhythmic like the waves upon the shoare, as you drift off into a peaceful slumber. Breathe in forgiveness, breathe out bitterness.
We are by nature morning people (even if you think you’re a night owl, you’re not, you’re a person!) Owls are nocturnal, we are not. Obviously some people have to work shifts. But overall, you’ll find your life flows much better if you adapt to natural ways, by getting up early and going to bed early. And if you go to be early, you can then get up an hour earlier and do loads of the stuff you say you’ll do, but never do. That’s what successful and happy people do!
Whether that’s prayer or yoga, or whizzing up a smoothie or going for a run. You could walk your dog, play with children, write a novel, take a long shower, meditate, simply sit in silence, read a chapter of a book – whatever floats your boat. If you love music, why not take 10 minutes to listen to your favourite tracks, instead of browsing social media depression news? If you’re overweight, take 10 minutes to work out with Lucy (no equipment needed) or practice a musical instrument. Just that one hour can make all the difference to your day.
Sunrise Gratitude is a beautiful book of morning meditations, designed to help you start the day right. Instead of waking up to rolling news, Twitter or stress – read one of these morning meditations with your first cup of tea, to instill a sense of gratitude about this beautiful planet we share. As the sun rises, take time before the day begins to calm your thinking and prepare a tranquil morning routine. You’ll then begin to wake up with a peaceful and purposeful mindset.
Living intentionally creates a soulful reason behind our actions. When we take the time to focus on what we want and why we want it, we can narrow our focus. Instead of allowing our thoughts to run wild, focusing shapes our reality. Wherever our focus goes, growth can take place. Creating an intention with focus will reap rewards. In fact, it may not happen exactly as you would envision, but it will happen as it should.
Each of us has a gift to share with the world. We are born with these gifts or develop them, and they burn like a fire inside our souls. We are all creative in our way way. It takes courage to create and share something that comes from the soul – and your gift is best when shared. You never know who may need to receive your gift. Sometimes all we need is an audience of one. Create without expectation. Let the fire within you bring passion and light into the world.
Can you imagine the changes in your life, if you began each day reading a mindfulness meditation like this? Your life will be transformed! As a bonus, the book is beautifully designed to inspire.
Emily Silva spent many years working for corporations, before quitting her job to pursue her dreams. She used her experience in the banking and wind industries to become a spiritual life coach, and believes everyone has the power to create their dream lives. It just takes courage, drive and sometimes someone to hold them accountable (and inspire) along the way.