December week 3 – Winter Solstice Light

“Let there be light” could be a scientific equation as well as a metaphorical and experiential spiritual quest.  This past week I felt the divine presence creeping down the sides of one of San Francisco’s recently built 42 story luxury residential complexes.  And there was light and it was exhilarating.

Ireland’s most notable icon is the archeological site tomb of Newgrange built over 5,000 years ago.  It predates Stonehenge by 1,000 years and the Egyptian pyramids by 400 years.  What makes it phenomenal is not only it’s size and age but its connection to the winter solstice.

The monument was designed to capture the first rays of sunlight on the morning of the Winter Solstice, no doubt ritualize the reminder to the people that they are coming out of the darkest of times and will be birthed again into the light.

Indeed, the whole monument was designed around capturing the first rays of sunshine on the morning of the solstice.  The San Francisco Chronicle on the morning of the winter solstice had an article noting that some 60 (those known) Spanish and/or adobe churches built 200 years ago or more recently have a center aisle and altars that catch the first rays of sun on the winter solstice and bath their tabernacles in golden light.

I don’t know if the architects/designers of the Infinity Towers in San Francisco had faced their buildings in such a way to change the colors of their windows and decks from green/blue to orange and yellows when the winter sun hits them.  But that is the phenomena I saw this year.  The arrival of the first rays of winter solstice light a signal of the lengthening of the days and the return to life from the depth of the tomb or womb.

Capturing this is worthy of prize winning images.  I have included one of the buildings before dawn, beautiful in itself and the other as the first light hit its same colored windows and decks.  The second shot is the two buildings in one image using the windows of one building as a mirror for the other.  The Infinity at 300 Spear Street is a mixed-use residential condominium development.

The Infinity 2 bed and 2 bath condos are out of my price range at a mere $999,000 to 1,250,000. But their beauty is available to every one’s digital single range lens cameras or point and shoots.  Look up and go wide!

A second day of walking near the financial district between 7 AM and 8 AM also provided beautiful light turning concrete buildings to golden surging rockets.  Wide angel will distort the buildings with various degrees of key stoning.  Instead of seeking perspective correction with a Tilt and Shift lens or P\perspective correction software go for the skewed look which adds drama and motion to the monoliths.

Yes, “Let there be light” to show us beauty and move us to just and peaceful commitments for the coming new year.  And within it I suspect we will see the divine presence. Merry Christ-Sophia-mas!


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