this is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow again and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen magically along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn.
- bernard de voto "the hour"
on countless nights, i’ve sat in my family room, TV buzzing in the background, kids milling about and toys strewn across the room. eyes glued to my laptop. or a finger aimlessly cascading down the smooth glassy screen of my iphone.
“the world in my hands” or so jobs wants me to think. on most nights, i surrender. guilty as charged. i collect pretty things on pinterest. i instant-ize my moments on instagram. i drift from huffpo to blogs in between intermittent email checks. i shop. i glaze. i grasp to steal moments for myself, yet struggle with the sinking feeling that i’m busy—at once doing things...and yet doing nothing.
and then i catch a glimpse of it from the corner of my eye. the faint hint of color. a subtle hue, peeking out from just beyond our deck. sometimes it’s cool, ethereal, steely. other times it’s almost pulsing, like a smoldering ember. still others, it’s hazy, smoky, beckoning.
the glow. it’s as if someone flipped on a switch. i answer without hesitation. no matter the season, how hot or how cold, i fling open the door.
“upstairs, front door.” the pesky alarm lady sounds off, but it’s no matter. this is a welcome guest.
i gaze over to the west. it never disappoints. the violet hour. magic time. almost missed. fleeting. yet in that moment, infinitely fulfilling.
i captured all of these moments on separate days from the same spot over the course of a year. not consciously. in fact i had no plan. no fancy equipment. ironically i snapped them with my iphone (score 1 point for jobsy). but i realized, in looking back, that every evening on my unassuming front porch was a canvas. if i blinked or scrolled or clicked too long, i would’ve missed it.
watch for it. it’s there. in your morning commute. the puddles on the street. the buildings that you rush by day after day. the window where you wash the dishes. the faces that you gaze upon daily. the glow. if you catch a glimpse, stop. even if for just a few precious seconds. bask in it.