Prompt: To enter, you must write a 400-600 word essay on how light affects your life. You may consider how it affects how you work, your ability to create, what you do day to day, your profession, your relationships, your home or your mood.
Lights of my Life, Both Natural and Artificial
I live by light.
The light of knowledge has confirmed some of my beliefs, challenged others, and has become brighter through school, marriage and motherhood, which came about all at once; the light of truth is like a lamp on my feet, guiding me to greater light.
The light of the sun draws me out, the light of the moon tells me it’s time to put away all the cares of the day, and the light of the stars pulls me back in. When I turn on the lamplight, imbuing the room in a soft, pink hue, it’s time for a bedtime story.
Different types of light affect how I eat: sunlight puts me in the mind to dine al fresco on the screened-in patio, candlelight puts me in the mood for an elegant dinner with white napkins and tablecloths.
Light affects my work, for it enhances as well as inhibits it. In my daughter’s nursery by night, the light does not shine, and I am not distracted from my work. In that same room, my office by day, the sunlight shines through her golden curtains with silver threads, distracting me from my work; I push them aside, and my work is enhanced because of the now unfiltered sunlight streaming through the glass, creating a golden puddle at my feet, lighting up my whole being.
Light can keep me from creating, for I long to be outside on a beautiful day, and so schoolwork is put in the night pile, after my daughter is a-sleeping under the faint light of green stars shifting on the ceiling.
Light affects my mood, for the moment I step out of my bedroom, I throw back all the curtains that screen out the glare, thus letting the outside in. Doing so puts me in the frame of mind to hit the ground running and get right to work. It makes me feel like spring cleaning, even in the winter. It makes me want to do everything, and all at once.
Light affects what I do day to day. When the sun slips behind the clouds, I feel a coolness, a respite, and when the sun comes back out, I feel warm, sometimes languid, the fluidity of my movements in slow-motion.
Light affects my profession. When it’s sunny, everyone is at the beach, and I stand in an empty restaurant, the broken rays streaming in, reflecting on the chrome of the Fifties-style diner facing Pensacola Bay. When the light begins to wane, people start to trickle in like a brook, drawn by the blue and red neon lights of the Shiney Diney, called Scenic 90 Café.
When the sun is out, we take our daughter to the park, and it’s like dancing in the rain, but in the beams of the sun. I call my freckles sun kisses. Sunshine makes me look youthful and feel alive.
Light affects my home. At night, I turn on all the lamps, dispelling the darkness, minimizing the glow of the television screen, which puts out a flickering, erratic light. At day, I see all that needs to be done; my tasks are brought to light.
The advent of electricity has turned a dark earth into one that glows at all hours, and there is no rest, creating a creature called the night owl, who would cease to exist without artificial light.
We live by light.