The Magic Hour – a post by Beth Kanell

The Magic Hour
The magic hour for photo seekers: late afternoon, as the low sun
presses its slanted light across the ridge, teasing the leaves,
layering rose and red against the hushed fields. My shaggy lawn
gleams velvet and lush in this moment; the elm’s branches
arch like the arms of a dancer, rising on hidden toes, closed eyes
tipped toward the warmth, body slim and muscled. The white iris
blushes and bends. Cool shadows stretch from cedar and oak,
from maple and elder, from ash and torn-open roses.
In the morning, there were lists and problems, plans; now
the magic hour dispels them. My human scraping, tiny
compared to this flood of transformation, this glow, this othering
which rinses even me; which washes even me; which for a long
hour of magic dissolves my shames to gratitude, tender and fragile
as long-legged crickets, leaping in the wide forgiving field.

Beth Kanell lives in northeastern Vermont, with a mountain at her back and a river at her feet. She’s a published poet, novelist, historian, and memoirist, and shares her research and writing process at

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