“Let there be light”

Genesis 1:3

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These days I’m finding that I need ever more light, for tasks involving my eyes, for navigating safely, reading, writing and for my mood. I know ARCs (age related changes) involving the eyes reduce the amount of light that can enter the brain. Eyelids sag, and the muscles that control the opening the pupil to let in light become weaker.   The number of rods in the back of the eye not only decrease in number, but those that remain become less functional. My brain is receiving less light. The areas of impact in my daily living are multiple, involving not only tasks requiring acuity of vision, but also my balance and mood.

I’m lucky to have wonderful external resources. Our home has lots of big windows, particularly in the kitchen, living-dining room and my office. Whatever light is outside, comes in. Even at night (if it isn’t raining), the amber lights of the city form a lovely night light throughout the living room. Street lights through the drapes offer dim night lighting in the bedroom throughout the night. As for artificial lighting, my husband built in lighting over all the important work areas in addition to the ceiling lights. (Little did he know then, that decades later I would need all of them.) In the central hall that connects all the rooms there are small night lights that are on at all times and lights that turn on automatically when one goes down the stairs.

I can control lighting in my home, but not the seasons and the weather.   Each year autumn inevitably moves on to winter months that seems to inch along like very cold molasses. In addition, our region is characterized by multiple, persistent gray days—with or without rain. By the end of February I’m sagging physically and emotionally. I long for the longer days to become more apparent.

For months, I’ve worked to keep my spirits up. I wear brighter colored clothes to lighten things up—brighter, deeper, richer colors. I put on makeup, even when it’s just me that sees it. I read light entertaining books. Seek out music in major keys.   I light candles (a habit I developed after my times of working in Sweden during their long hours of darkness in autumn and winter).   A son encouraged me to replace the wood fireplace in the living room with a gas one with realistic logs. (It even has remote switches). What a great idea! Its dancing yellow-orange/blue-edged flames and glowing coals now lighten, brighten and warm me and my visitors in both days and evenings. It gives me a sense of companionship.

This year our region is enjoying a warmer, sunnier spring. I’ve gloried in it! While I regularly use my motto of “To everything there is a season. . . .” I’m so glad when those seasons are spring and summer.   I never appreciated that nature’s light could be so important. Just another of the many surprises aging has sprung on me.

 

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5 thoughts on ““Let there be light”

  1. This age-related change of light reception sneaks up on us in imperceptible increments, doesn’t it? I’m newly fond of wearing yellow and bright green, but attributed this to my skin losing colour. Now I wonder whether my skin is still rosy pink, and only I see it as beige-grey, thanks to my failing eyes. Regardless, I’ll stick with the bright colours.

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  2. So true. I wonder if it just took me a long time to pay attention?? Anyway, I tried a crackling fire DVD. Shocking! Watching it makes you wake up and, since it doesn’t produce heat, you can use it all year.

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  3. Yow! Balance problems is too true. I have anisocoria, an uneven size of my pupils. One is much larger than the other, and it doesn’t move much. Actually, the smaller one doesn’t move much either. I figured this was all due to my neuropathy, but after reading your entry, I’m thinking it’s partially due to my age. My eye muscles are likely weaker, also, because my apartment is quite dark. In any case, Solstice Blessings for tomorrow, dear Doris!

    Sunny hugs,
    Julia

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  4. Hi Doris, It is Fannie Gaston-Johansson from Sweden. I am in Seattle on my way to Alaska and Nicholas my youngest son remembered that he and his sister Andrea and I had spent the the night with you in your home and that you took very good care of us. I had invited you earlier to Gothenburg Sweden where you spent a week presenting a wonderful program to young nurses and physicians. Nicholas is now 45 years old. You really made a lasting impression on all of the Johanssons and the nurses and physicians in Sweden
    Fond memories,
    Fannie Gaston-johansson
    Email: fgaston1@jhu.edu

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  5. Yes I agree, light is good!
    I was raised in a well lit home, little did I know how dark the world can be.
    My pet peeve is bags, bags with dark interiors, book bags, backpacks, computer bags, luggage that have dark, usually black liners. I suppose the darkness hides dirt, but it also makes it hard to find individual items. A bright white liner would make it so much easier to find things in the bag.
    I may try spray painting a bag, or maybe installing a little clip-on flashlight may work to lighten things up.
    PS I like your blog…..its nice and light 🙂

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