I don’t like saying that the nights are drawing in… but they are. I think having evening walks on the coast, and always timing them to enjoy the last light, means that you recognise this shift very clearly. Rather than walks ending at 10pm, as the light is fading, now we’re seeing that light fade by half 8. Now, we’re having a flask of tea in the car in the gloaming, and driving home in darkness. August is the month where you can feel the light slipping more quickly. Still summer, but with that first hint of the darker evenings ahead.
I struggle with this. I think most people do, but I’ve felt this much more as I’ve got older, and the dread of dark nights intensifies with every year. Looking back, I don’t think I even registered this in my twenties. Dark autumn and winter nights meant more time in the gym, or in the cinema. Now, it means more time indoors, away from the places we love; away from the places that ground us and recharge us.
So for now we appreciate these moments; these evenings when we can escape down the coast and arrive at Hedderwick Sands to find this glowing scene. To walk along this path with the light dancing between the pines; shadow and light, shadow and light. The calls of the birds on the water, surprisingly loud in the quietness of this place, and the background rush of the waves in the distance, crashing towards Belhaven beach.
For me, these simple moments have been the highlights of our summer.
August 2023, John Muir Country Park, East Lothian.