Sunday Stills: #Light the Night

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

Ann Frank

Depending on where you live geographically, the holidays invoke a variety of emotions and feelings. Some of us enjoy a white Christmas or festive winter holiday while others are celebrating the holidays in the warmth of full summer. Not only are the holidays a source of wonder and joy as we look forward to the celebrations with family and friends, but also a source of anxiety and even depression for some folks.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Desmond Tutu

A Little SAD

I am known to suffer from mild Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, a temporary condition caused by lack of sunlight. I know…I purposely moved north from sunnier northern California, but I still had bouts of SAD while living there. But now that I recognize the symptoms of depression, I’m better prepared and can feel it coming on. I wrote about my experiences with SAD in this post.

Luckily, during the daylight hours, we see the sun peeking out and that is when I try to get outside for a few moments and let that light flood my eyes which stimulates the pituitary gland to change the brain’s chemicals linked to mood.

All that said, in the northern hemisphere, as days continue to shorten and nights lengthen, most of us look for ways to light up the night.

This is a close-up of my outdoor trees all lit up, backdropped against the actual trees in the distance, and the two trees in the snow.

As this is my second Christmas/winter here in the Spokane, Washington area, I have plenty to look forward to which helps keep things interesting and fun! But I will have to be ready when the February doldrums strike!

Lighting with Holiday and Winter Decor

Another way I can ward off the effects of seasonal affective disorder is to decorate the interior of my home. Once Christmas decor is put away, I will have various winter scenes and white florals around my home. Decorating is a fun leisure activity and brings me joy. In our new home, we have four transom windows (typically found above entry doors). Three are situated in our main bedroom and bring in more light. These areas make a surprisingly interesting way to display decor. Here is my current holiday decor over our front door.

transom light decor

I had random decorations to use and these stained glass tealight candle holders allow the light to come through.

Just this Thursday, it snowed most of the day, snarling traffic and closing some outdoor events in Spokane. I stayed home and took pictures! This is how I light the night in the front yard. I’m still amazed at how much light my camera lens grabs, especially with the snow reflecting the light. There is something quite serene in seeing winter snow lit up at night.

Lighting the night from within and outdoors

Many of you asked more about my holiday decorations. I managed to take a video from my phone and save it to YouTube (thanks, Hugh, for the suggestion)! Welcome to Christmas at my house!

Lighting the Night

The winter solstice is December 21, marking the northern hemisphere’s shortest day of the year. The good news is now we will gain one minute a day of sunlight until June! Meanwhile, the moon lights the night!

“It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.”

Richard Evans

A few more ways to light the night:

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesday: Candles or Lights
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Kaleidoscope
Lens-Artists: Serene

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have until December 23 to share and link your post to this one.

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

Please share your links by Dec 23 if you can as I am going on a break until January 9th. I would like to include your links in the current post while people are still reading rather than waiting for the January 9th post. However, I will include any in that post that miss the deadline. I might hop in for the January “Bloganuary” Challenge for a few days, too.

This is the last post of 2021 as I take a short break for the holidays. Please join me on January 9th with a look back on your photography highlights and your 2021 year in review. Meanwhile, follow me on my social media pages:

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

image from Color Planet

Wishing you all the most magical season filled with love and laughter! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours. “See” you on January 9th!

treesignatureholidays

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Sunday Stills: #Awakening of Leisure

Hobbies

Have the last few weeks of staying at home awakened something in you?

The dictionary describes awakening as a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something. The example? a rude awakening to the disagreeable facts. That about explains it!

Awakening can mean the revival of an old interest or trying a new hobby. Lately, most of us have plenty of time to explore some new interests or revive old ones.

We call this leisure. We might have too much right now. Oh darn.

Some folks have awakened their creativity with crafts and art projects. Since I was a teen, I have enjoyed sewing. My old machine finally gave up, so I will be looking for a new one soon. Maybe one that quilts and embroiders!

Over the years, I tried a variety of other crafts like scrapbooking, rug hooking, crochet, and something called yarn art or “tuck and cut.” Some long abandoned, as shown in the picture. Anyone remember macramé?

Hobbies

As a young adult, I painted and drew with pen and ink and oil pastels. Once the kids were born, I put most of those projects away. I dabbled in painting 11 years ago after I met my husband and created this for him. Acrylic on a water-eroded wood plank.

My interpretation of a windsurf sunset. Painted by me in 2009.

Others have spent more time in their own backyards gardening, lounging, and pruning, not necessarily in that order. Many of us have grabbed our lenses and taken a closer look at flowers, insects, and birds that inhabit our yards or have spent time organizing digital and hard-copy photos.

Sunflowers awaken a petal at a time.

lazy opening of sunflower petals

Still others are just experiencing the awakening of spring in the northern hemisphere after a long winter or enjoying the fall in the southern hemisphere.

Awakening of spring and bee

Perhaps you have awakened to the idea of exploring more writing projects or registering for an online education course.

Of course, every morning we awaken to a new day.

The difference a new day makes in our quest for change

Here in Northern California, dawn comes early (5:30am) I recently began a Biblical-based meditation series called soul space. The app directs you through a 5-minute meditation that begins the day quietly and calmly, just what I need to combat monkey-mind!

I just read that Sacramento County along with the San Francisco Bay area upgraded stay-at-home orders through May 22, with some re-opening of services and leisure spaces. The American River Bike Trail has been open during this time. When I need a workout, and to clear my head, a 60-minute bike ride works for me!

Biking along American River Bike Trail

What has awakened in you these past weeks as we continue to stay at home? Show us in photos, music, poetry, and stories.

Sharing for Jude’s Being Creative with Light and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

I am pleased to share that we welcomed 8 new Sunday Stills participants in April. Please visit if you haven’t already. Backroads and Other Stories, Bellazaria, Easin’ Along, JP the Wide-Eyed Wanderer, Louis Dallara Photography, Stine Writing, Susan Rushton, and Transition of Thoughts.

My hope is we, as the resilient human beings that we are, will continue to enjoy and explore our newly awakened or revisited leisure pastimes!

TErri Signature

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