All photos made in late February 2008 in South Boston between 3:30 & 5:30 pm, in the sequence arrayed here
It is the title of a film by the late illustrious Swedish filmmaker, Ingmar Bergman. Made in 1962, Winter Light is about a minister losing his faith, about one of his ministrants killing himself at his own loss of faith.
Two scenes stand out as typifying winter light, the notion of winter light: direct sunlight streaming into a church, sharply illuminating the interior and the characters, and the foggy, murky river side setting of the man who committed suicide.
Those two scenes reveal the bipolarity of winter light: harsh direct sunlight and the steel grey akin to death. Winter light is cold and dark, and it is sun bright and hot, if one is seated in the right location in the church.
So one day in winter might be rainy, dark, colorless—tomorrow might be radiant.
Another aspect of winter light—it is evolving slowly, as does the light of all seasons. One day differs from another by its distance from the solstice. As I write this reflection—late February—the planet’s axis is slowly tilting toward the sun in the northern hemisphere, away in the southern, so we here in Northland will reach equinox in a about 2 weeks, and then 3 months later summer, another season, another form of light—how do they differ?
Winter light is long shadows, gray black, bright highlights when the sun shines. It is heat married to cold, the memory of warm evenings, the expectation of long days returning. It is a sustaining light that carries us thru the long frigid midwinter nights with a promise of thawed earth, germinating seeds, buds, flowers, and fruits. The earth springs back once it tires of the winter light.