For the Love of Dusk
by Rowan Blair Colver
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, the light begins to fade.
The sunshine may pause from its gracing of our portion of the Earth’s surface for a few hours but the human day is not at an end. Many of us are only just beginning to experience what we consider our life, once work and school are out of the way. We know also, that within the course of the night, we will spin around and meet the dawn. The symbolic drawing in of night-time no longer seems to dominate our society, what with the luxury of heated homes, electric lights and cars. We can sometimes forget that we are natural beings like the rest of them out there, following their own patterns dictated by circumstance. City birds for example often sing right through the night, when their well-lit parks and verges never receive a full bathing in darkness.
But what is dusk? We all know it is that fuzzy time in the evening between day and night, but actually it is more precise than that. Dusk is the official end of twilight, and before you celebrate, I don’t mean the vampires but the period of time once the sun has set but the sky remains blue. Dusk is the moment at which this ends and this is measured by how many degrees below the horizon the sun is. Then, to complicate things further, there are actually three types of twilight and therefore three types of dusk.
We may find the eagle has gone to bed and the owl is out instead, we may see the sheep are asleep and the foxes prowl the chicken boxes but the day is still not over yet. The star gazers are setting their telescopes by torchlight but they are not ready to stare, there are still a few more moments before the sun desists its glare. Another 6 degrees, making that 18, are what it takes for the sky to break and reveal the cosmic sea. And finally, at astronomical dusk, the moment arises. Night draws in like a celestial blanket of rest. It is time for relaxation, for respite, for food, for dancing, for love. Some like to be alone, and some like to cuddle up close, some like to indulge and others like to spend the night out and about, but when the stars come out, we realise that it is never dark, there is no lack of light. The main lamp of the sun is only a cloak to cover the face of the humbling and inspiring majesty of the universe.
Rowan Blair Colver
for Alternative Fruit Creative Arts