Winter's Light

 Image Essay by Cynthia Staples


December Morning Light


As much as I complain about the cold, I love winter’s light coming through the windows each morning.


December Morning Light, 2


How it shines on the walls and illuminates the most ordinary things, making them extraordinary...


December Morning Light, 7


...revealing fragile intricacies...




White Butterfly


...and delicate beauty.


White Feather, Christmas Eve



Cynthia StaplesCynthia Staples is a freelance writer and photographer and a member of Talking Writing's Advisory Board.

Currently living in Somerville, Massachusetts, she was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her muses are many, including nature and her family. For work and pleasure, Cynthia has been lucky enough to travel the world. Those travel experiences as an African American woman continually influence her creative work. Her writing has been published in African Voices; Creativity Portal; the Seattle Times; Terrain: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments; and other journals.

This image essay originally appeared on Cynthia's blog Words + Images.



Cynthia, I, too, am a writer/visual artist (made my living as a photographer for 20 years), and I'm touched by your images. I also do not like the cold, rail against it, in fact, particularly when I have to walk my dog Lucy, cursing the wind as it freezes my cheeks, feeling angry when I know I should be grateful that I can even go outside on my own two legs. I traded the soul-depleting heat of New Orleans for the paralyzing winters of Concord, NH seven years ago, an equal swap, if opposites on the thermometer. It's true, winter light is special. And while I rarely pick up a camera to record it any longer, I do see how it illuminates things not usually seen because of the sun's low position in the sky at this latitude. Thank you for sharing your words-through-images.

Darlene Olivo

Yes, the delicate movements of things in winter is a FIND, that fleeting beauty you've captured with your lens...thanks! Limin Mo

Thanks, everyone, for your comments here at TW and on my blog. Your responses encourage me to keep looking at the world around me and to share what I find, even the simple things. I hope your new year has started well! You have certainly helped mine to do so.

I understand it's the photographer's eye, their focus, the special way of seeing and identifying that which has the potential to be special. There's beauty all around us of which we are often unaware. Thank you Cynthia for directing our attention. I will never look at a white feather, a white butterfly, condensation on a window and cold morning light the same way again.

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