a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Jul, 2009

Moment of bliss #001*

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Moments of bliss

There are certain moments in our natural world when light and dark play and mix in a way that makes me stop dead in my tracks.

I wonder how can something so simple as light can make the world around me jump out like that, not just jump, but jump up and down and shout:


earth and sky 

It often happens in the afternoon hours as the sun is on its way down in the sky.  The light changes, and suddenly the sun casts a gold veil over hill and dale and gives everything a deeply rich jewel tone. How does this happen? Is it the angle, the temperature of the light, the weather?

I try not to overthink it. But I do know that this light is best experienced in wide open natural spaces, in farmer’s fields, or any combination of the two.

The effect is amplified a hundredfold if there happens to be a sky covered with rolling dark clouds, each heavy with thunder and brimful of rain. Sometimes there’s a spectacular rainbow married to this sky, sometimes there isn’t, or sometimes the rainbow is just a indistinct smear of washed out watercolour, the kind that you almost have to squint to see properly, the kind that if you want to share it with someone else you need to point and use specific directional language such as LOOK, OVER THERE, UP HIGH …

Rainbows aside, I am drawn to this sky-blue-gold-green-field image time and time again, in photos, in art, in real life. I can’t say no to it. I must give in. I watch, willing witness, and breathe my thanks and hope that I’ll see it again. This sky infuses me with some unknown commodity which somehow makes everything good.

I feel sad knowing people are missing this view. I wonder if I’m the only one who’s looking.


* I’ve decided I’m going to start keeping track.

5 Responses to "Moment of bliss #001*"

1 | Ryan

July 6th, 2009 at 10:47 am


My favourite prairie memory is driving home on a weekend and seeing a deep blue thunderstorm rolling over the plains towards me while the sun behind me backlights the golden wheat I’m headed towards. It’s a powerful feeling. I understand this post exactly.

2 | Fiat lux

July 6th, 2009 at 2:41 pm


Big sunlit vistas adjacent to dark skies….is truly fantastic. I will continue to try to capture this spectacular phenom but I’m ok with it being something that can only be witnesses live (i.e. a photo will never do it justice). The incredible colour of snow is also in this category.

Speaking of really seeing amazing light, wearing polarized sunglasses while driving unlocks some spectacular colour/vistas.

3 | Susan

July 6th, 2009 at 7:53 pm


filmmakers call that 30 minutes before sunset
“the magic hour”

4 | Sharon

July 7th, 2009 at 1:45 pm


That’s what I do and never ever thought about blogging about it.
Love it… May just highjack this one…ahem if I may?

5 | Natalie

July 9th, 2009 at 5:44 pm


Oh Andrea your words speak to my heart, beautifully written post. I truly resonate. Thanks.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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