In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love."
Morning light comes slowly on these middling January days, beginning with a diffused blush on the horizon, then a deep magenta sky and rosy clouds high over the trees, flamboyant coppery gold dancing through everything, a burnished glow flowing like honey over the village. Trees, chimneys and snowy rooflines are silhouetted against the early radiance, and they contribute their own rooted glow to the day that is just coming into being.
These are my "stained glass hours", and they have illustrious crafted kindred; the rose window of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the vibrant panels of Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Then there are the magnificent creations of Marc Chagall: his paintings of the biblical Song of Songs, the windows (especially the Reuben window) depicting the Twelve Tribes of Israel he designed for the synagogue of Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Centre, the commemorative windows he created as a memorial for young Sarah d'Avigdor-Goldsmith (also spelled Goldsmid) in tiny All Saints Church, Tudeley, Kent.
Compelled for some reason to be up and about before the light show starts, off I go to find a seat by the window and partake of the abundance. I bring a mug of tea, a heavy shawl and the camera. Chagall often seemed to be seeing the beauty of the earth through stained glass, and wrapped up in morning's jeweled colors, I seem to be doing the same thing. Mother Nature and Chagall are true artists though - I am just a doddering observer, training my lens on the high perfect light of morning and floundering for words to describe it all. How many lifetimes does it take to get this "stuph" right?