Look at the light of this hour.

I try to protect Wednesday afternoons to spend with Grace and Whit.  This past week Wednesday was sunny and warm: classic Indian summer.  I walked to school to pick them up and we walked home, stopping at the playground on the way.  After a stop at home to finish Grace’s homework, we went to one of our favorite places, the tower at the back of a cemetery in our town.  We like to climb it in all seasons, survey the world that we live in spread out all around us, admire the changing foliage and quality of the light, feel the wind on our faces.  The kids also like to race up the stairs, counting them as they go. The last time we went up there was in May, on a stormy day that became a tornado-warning evening.

As we climbed the stairs to the base of the tower, Grace stopped suddenly.  I was ahead of her, following Whit.

“Mummy!  Look!”  She pointed at something in between two of the stone steps.

“What?”  I admit I was a little impatient.  Whit was running ahead of us.

“Look.  Just look.”  I climbed down a few stairs and saw what she was pointing to.  A heart.  My little soul mate: she sees and feels things in the very ether just like I do.

As he so often does, Wordworth ran through my head:

With with an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.

At the top of the tower we admired the deep green of the leaves on the trees all around.  Grace and Whit found the playing fields of their school’s upper school, and watched tiny figures running up and down.  The breeze was cool but the sun was still warm.  The green was spotted in a few places with autumn’s red and orange, and Grace asked if we could come back up someday soon when all the leaves had turned.  Of course.  Of course.

After we descended the tower we visited the fairy stream.  That my children remain enchanted by the small, still place makes me happier than I can describe.  As we left it, Grace cartwheeled ahead and Whit slipped his hand into mine.  “Do you think there are really fairies, Mummy?”

“Yes,” I said firmly.  “Yes, I do.  Do you?”

“Yes, yes.  I was just wondering where they went when we arrived.  Do you think they hid under the rocks or flew away?”

Pondering this, we walked around a bit in amiable silence.  I told Grace and Whit about my very favorite headstone, though I couldn’t actually find it.  “It’s very simple,” I said.  “I just love the words.  It says: look at the light of this hour.”

The kids walked on, quiet, for a few steps.  Grace then turned to look at me.  “You mean, well, that means, to really pay attention, right?”  I nodded at her.  “So, like the way you take pictures of the sky all the time?”  I smiled and nodded again.  She turned back to her walking, thinking.  A moment later, “I was doing that when I noticed the heart, right, Mummy?”

I hugged her and said, “Yes, Grace.  Yes, you were.”

Look at the light of this hour. It is golden, and it contains the life of things.

17 thoughts on “Look at the light of this hour.”

  1. This moment, how you captured it here, just wow! What an absolutely lovely idea to protect that time with your children and to spend it doing something so special. I may need to think about doing something similar with my boys – I so want them to learn to just slow down.

  2. looking, paying attention. light. hunger and foolishness. i will be meditating on your words and images and stories and invitations all day. thank you, lindsey.

  3. What a gift you are, Lindsey. To your children, to us, to the world.

    And it seems that Grace and Whit are carrying on the tradition.


    Thank you.

  4. You capture it all so well, Lindsey – the importance of the time we spend with our kids, these seemingly simple conversations and excursions which really hold so much more meaning and value. I love reading what you write! And that beautiful photo of your kids looking at the view of my favorite American city isn’t bad, either!

  5. I love going to cemteries to wander and ponder. My father died 19 years ago this October and I love to visit him at the small country plot, especially when all the leaves have brightened up. Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. I recognize the impatience, which creeps up and tries to take me away from light of these hours. I love the way you noticed and let it go. And this time with your gorgeous kiddos (wise souls that they are) is inspiring. xoxo

  7. Just reading your blog is a gift, from your words to the photographs of such beauty. Including your lovely children. And what an insightful daughter you have! I love that she noticed the importance of paying attention.

  8. So beautiful. You have inspired me to look around. Today I went out with that intention and found a heart-shaped rock by the garden hose. xoxo

  9. It is a delight to share something so rare as Robert Creeley’s grave marker. I also discovered it quite by accident and that line,
    “Look at the light of this hour” has stayed with me ever since. You said you couldn’t find it. Here’s how. (I’m an old Mt. Auburn fan.)
    Get a map of the famous graves and find the gravesite of Buckminster Fuller and Charles Bulfinch (almost next to each other). If you’re facing Fuller, turn right and walk a few yards. On your right soon you’ll find a gated plot of the Lowell family. (Pres. L. of Harvard, Amy the poet, and others)
    Now, facing that plot, move to the right and up over the little hill behind it. You’ll come to a path running left and right. A large circular bronze monument (Bowditch family) will be on your left. On the other side of the path, if you walk a bit up and down you’ll find the modest Creeley grave, almost hidden near the shrubbery but visible. Idyllic in its simplicity. And the inscription is profound. (Hope this wasn’t too much detail).

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