As we spring forward and realign our days for more natural light during our evenings, I’m thinking about how we can use that extra hour of precious light at the end of each day.
We naturally share a corporeal relationship with light, and throughout time, we've been synchronizing our attention and days with light.
Light has always been the enabling technology, without it there would be no sight. In the glorious days when art, science and theology weren't set up as discrete, sovereign ideological camps, Einstein hung out with the Impressionists—each sharing ideas and philosophies about "the thingness" of light.
Artist James Turrell says "light itself is the revelation," and in the vocabulary of light, we say someone is “bright” if they are smart or witty.
I say there’s room to value the intelligence that comes from our solar plexus as much as from our cerebellum.
Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer knew all about the power of light. "I'm going to let it shine, shine, shine,” she sang out brilliantly, calling upon our intuitive knowledge to use our light for good ends with "This Little Light of Mine."
Fannie was a true beacon of courage, leadership and style, whose light we see so beautifully reflected in the ordinary but brave, unstoppable women and girls across the world today, who take to the streets and the Internet in their fervent quest for the right to be—the right to shine.
We have such brilliance, and we get to do with it as we please, whether we savor it or hold it up to illuminate darkness.
It's no accident that we use words like radiant, luminescent, translucent to describe beauty and good skin. As with our skin, we must be the guardian of what is precious to us—and doesn't the same hold true of our little light of mine in setting the emotional tone of our life experience?
We widely accept light has a psychological impact, and we use our aesthetic and technical sensibilities to surround ourselves with the ideal light to meet the emotional condition we’re seeking—from romance to safety.
If we want to shine, shine, shine, we have to confront the daily habits that dim our ability to be our best light—so take pause in your extra hour this evening to consider your light, because we get just this one light and we all gotta let it shine.