Driving home tonight along the M4 it felt like I was travelling towards a William Blake canvass with a sky full of pure beauty, rich colour and brooding intensity. Flocks of birds headed eastwards against a kaleidoscope of rich shades of pink and orange. The depth and contrast between the embers of the day’s sunshine and arrival of the dark skies created a sense of melancholy and starkness between the almost black outlines of the tree and the fading light on the horizon.
Yes you get beautiful sunsets during the other three seasons but its the deepness and sometimes brutal nature of winter sunsets that captures and fires the imagination. Its as if the winter sunshine is demanding the writing of verse to celebrate its power and glory.
There is something captivating about winter sunshine particularly when its at its best as day breaks and day gives way to night time. It lifts the soul and creates that feeling of wonder at the contours and topography of the landscape or cityscape against the back drop of the low sun struggling to make it to anywhere the giddy heights of summer.
The winter sun will often have to do battle with fog and mist or struggle to break through layers of thick and intense cloud cover. But when it does eventually triumph the atmosphere can change and during the morning it throws a fragile and deep light across urban and rural space; creating wonderful shadows or illuminating buildings with its brightness.
Seasonal change is something that chimes with the ticking of the human body clock. We need that contrast and difference to feel the elements and feel the wonder of nature. Its something that we miss when the blandness of dull grey days persist and its something that we should celebrate particularly when winter sunshine creates its mesmerising effects even during the shorter days of the year.