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Embracing the Water, and the Light

Embracing the Light Finger Cuff Top View

We awakened this morning to light rain.

It hasn’t lasted long — even now, just after dawn, the clouds to the west are breaking apart — but it was at least enough to soak the ground.

And at this moment, as the peaks on three sides are veiled in a mist of blue-violet, dark gray, and white, an ethereal light seems to rise from the horizon in the place where the sun sets.

This is the magic of this place, perhaps its most elemental spirit: the light, a fully animated, fully articulated being that gives life and purpose and identity to our small world here. Conventional thought limits the elements at four: earth, air, fire, and water (and in some Asian traditions, a fifth, wood). But here, the light is an equally powerful force. And when it dances with the spirits of air and water (and yes, earth and fire, too), it becomes a presence, a being, that defies human description.

Normally, spring is the season when the light is least spectacular here. Oh, it’s influential; it’s the very marker of the season itself, the point at which its angle widens and duration lengthens, when the generative power stored up over a long cold winter begins to accrue again, warming the world and brightening it, too. But spring traditionally is a windy affair, one of few clouds and less rain, where the light is simple, spare, and sere, with little beyond an essential pale brightness to define it.

Climate change is changing that, too.

For the last year or two, our summer monsoonal patterns have begun early: not merely in spring, but in winter, too. It’s a difference in the type of clouds and precipitation, as well as the path and force and flow of their journey. Even when they deliver no rain, their patterns are unmistakable.

The light they channel to us is equally unseasonable, and equally beautiful. It’s as though precious metals have been distilled to a mist finer than air itself, cascading from the sky to wash over the earth, embracing our world in their otherworldly light. Those of us who live by its presence, whose days are necessarily marked and counted by its angle and length and duration, embrace it in turn.

It’s a phenomenon that inspired today’s featured work, one that reminds me of sunlight arcing through raindrops, shimmering across the surface of the pond. From its description in the Rings Gallery here on the site:

Embracing the Light Finger Cuff Side View

Embracing the Light Finger Cuff

We begin each new year by embracing the light, whose return brings us a world renewed. Wings honors both the light and its embrace with this new finger cuff, a ring designed to embrace one in silvery reflected and refracted light. It’s a simple sterling silver band, hammered by hand to catch the light, its arc sloping gently upward on either side courtesy of the ring’s graceful anticlastic shaping. Its “cuff” style, one length of silver wrapped and held via the metal’s natural tension rather than a circle soldered together, leaves room for self-adjustment. Note: This particular cuff is made for larger fingers, roughly a size 14; it can be resized a bit, but much more than two sizes downward would require trimming the ends of the cuff. Band is 3/4″ across at the top center, narrowing gradually to 7/16″ at either end (dimensions approximate). Side view shown below.

Sterling silver
$375 + shipping, handling, and insurance

As noted in the description, this work is designed for a larger hand. But I so fell in love with the imagery, with the shimmering effect of light upon the water, that Wings created a version just for me. It embraces my left index finger, and allows me, regardless of weather or season, to embrace a little of our mystical light.

Today’s weather will not bring us nearly enough rain to touch the current drought by even the smallest measure, much less alleviate it. But however small the amount, we welcome it with gratitude. Here, it is a way of life: embracing the water, and the light.

~ Aji








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