Thursday, September 9, 2010

In the Gloaming

How long has it been since you've used the word "gloaming?"  I'd guess it's been a long while.  I know it's not on my frequently used vocabulary list. Words, like fashions, come and go. Yet at one time, it was enough of a part of someone's vocabulary to write a very sad poem the title of which was "In the Gloaming."

So, what is "gloaming?"  Simply put, it's twilight...dusk....gentle darkening of the day. But the phrase, "in the gloaming" seems more sentient than simply attributing it to a time of day.  Lost love, fading youth, dreams denied....what depth of meaning seems contained and implied...!

This time of year, this special light--for me--becomes "the gloaming.."  Each clear evening, it turns softly yellow, then champagne-colored, then the sun dips below the horizon and turns the cloudless sky into a canvas wash of subtle hues. Eventually, the gloaming gives way to the star-spangled bowl overhead, and the Milky Way wraps its band of beauty from mountaintop to mountaintop.

I love the slant of the light, the long shadows, hinting at the mysterious magic it visits upon us as it evolves into fall and winter when Orion will rule.  It is, for me,  the term "gloaming" that seems best to describe this quiet and reflective time after sundown.
In the gloaming, oh my darling
When the lights are soft and low
And the quiet shadows, falling,
Softly come and softly go

When the trees are sobbing faintly
With a gentle unknown woe
Will you think of me and love me,
As you did once, long ago

In the gloaming, oh my darling
Think not bitterly of me
Though I passed away in silence
Left you lonely, set you free

For my heart was tossed with longing
What had been could never be
It was best to leave you thus, dear,
Best for you, and best for me

In the gloaming, oh my darling
When the lights are soft and low
Will you think of me, and love me
As you did once long ago


  1. You always have the most beautiful pictures Elora - just amazing. blessings, marlene

  2. Elora -- Beautiful thoughts as fall enters our world. Lovely photo to match your "gloaming." -- barbara

  3. A beautiful word -- I also like 'first dark.'

  4. I just returned to your blog this evening and see that you have been taking pleasure in
    sunsets. We get that purity of light when we watch the western horizon at 7:00 pm too, but alas, no bowl of stars......though the
    lights of the George Washington Bridge have their own excitement against the urban gloaming....

    Miriam in New York