Patches of Godlight
Those of you familiar with the Bield will know that the direct outlook from the art space is a stone wall which shades the windows from much of the available light. To see something of the beauty of the grounds one has to venture out a little further, to step out into the light.
But then, as I left one afternoon, I happened to glance the other way, up this concrete alleyway with stone buildings on either side, away from the grounds, towards the road, and there beyond the boundary gate, my eyes rested for a while on the splendour of the low sun shining through the trees, illuminating their trunks and aminating their branches stripped now of their plumage, displaying their bare forms.
And then just as I was really beginning to feast on the scene, the light was gone, the sun slipped behind a cloud. The trees left looking grey, blending into the background, now just a small wooded area waiting for spring. It was as if life had passed momentarily by.
CS Lewis once said:
any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience *
As plans are announced for us to move out of lockdown, it feels as if a patch of sunlight may be waiting for us just around the corner – but my experience of Godlight ended all too abruptly – theses small pleasures, revelations, rays of hope – call them what you will, need to be enjoyed in the moment, they cannot be saved for later or recreated. Today it is raining.
* C S Lewis in Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (Orlando: Haircourt, 1963) p91