I’m intrigued by words that define a “between” moment and often need to remind myself that between-times can be beautiful. Like last week’s word, nascent, which describes something coming into existence — budding, but not yet in full bloom. Or one of my all-time favourite words – gloaming, which so aptly names that time after sunset and before dark.
- twilight; dusk.
- Old English glōmung, derivative of glōm [twilight]; related to glowan [to glow], hence — glow of sunrise or sunset. Fell from currency except in Yorkshire dialect, but preserved in Scotland and reintroduced by Burns and other Scottish writers after 1785.
I love that poets revived the word and kept it alive.
Gie me the hour o’ gloaming grey,
It makes my heart sae cheery O’…
But of the whole day I prefer, for my part,
the quiet hour that brings in the gloaming–
the calm and the beautiful gloaming!
O gloaming, thou hast richly shed
A gladness over me,
As thy pale mantle thou hast spread
Alike o’er land and sea;
And while I’ve wandered forth alone
In thy sweet tranquil hour,
I’ve soared in thought to worlds unknown
Through thy enchanting power.
No matter how subtle the gloaming appears, its magic is never lost. Some nights it’s bright and colourful; some nights it barely hints at light. Either way it always manages to be the visual representation of a longing sigh.
Oh gloaming. Yet another word I wish was a part of our everyday vocabulary. I’m sure it sounds more fitting with a Scottish accent.