What is it called when the world is yellow? I call it “the world it yellow,” but I’m sure that’s not a scientific term. You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those late afternoons when the light is slanting in a certain way and the world looks like you are seeing it through amber-colored glasses. When I was little I would run outside and twirl around and exclaim, “the world is yellow!”. Wait, I did that not too long ago. I guess twirling isn’t just for little girls after all. And pink days! Don’t get me started.
A few weeks ago, we received some of the tropical storm bands from a diminishing Hurricane Harvey. That morning on my way to work I was waiting to turn onto the highway, and I was stunned by the light. To the west the bluish-gray storm clouds were mounting, and in the east the sky was clear with the pinkish-yellow radiance of the morning. In the middle, where I was, the light held a cool blue luster and it bathed my hands and arms with an icy glow. I know yellow and pink, but that was my first experience with blue! I just sat there soaking it up, wishing there was a way to capture it in a bottle, or at least a photograph.
I’ve always been a fan of light, but I did go through those brooding teenager days (ahem, years) when I would spend hours, days even, shut up in my bedroom with the blinds drawn, lying on my bed listening to music or reading. I remember a time in my college years I spent the entire summer holed-up in my bedroom reading. I discovered John Irving that summer and only emerged from my cocoon to go to the library to get another volume. At the end of the summer break when I was on campus registering for the fall I ran into some friends I hadn't seen since the previous school year. It was like blinking into the sun after a winter’s hibernation. The light of day and friendship brought me back to life from a dark place I had hid myself.
Over the years I’ve tried to stay out of the dark and I find myself craving light more and more. I notice it everywhere. I live in a house of many windows and few curtains. Earlier this week I had to pull over to watch the sunset because the deep golden cast it was emitting was mesmerizing. Although rain was falling the sun was shining through the mist, and it looked like the fields behind the houses on my road were on fire. Not 20 seconds later the glow was gone and the sun was sinking like a rock. Light can be fleeting.
But light doesn’t have to be in the form of an emanation from a source of energy. Sometimes light can take the shape of kind words and warm smiles you know are meant only for you. Or getting a phone call in the middle of the day from you niece to tell you something that had happened to her that was so special and unique she wanted to share it with you because she knew you would appreciate it and understand. Light is having affirmation that you are important to another person. It warms and reveals.
It doesn’t take much to be a light for someone else. Really, it doesn’t. Be nice. Be kind. Give a compliment to a stranger. You will soon realize that light is at its brightest when it is shared.