When I was a kid there was a time of the day that I often looked forward to, but only sometimes experienced. The air became cooler, the streets quieter, the sky became filled with the colors of twilight: pink, orange, blue, and purple. This time of the day didn’t last long, but I loved it. It was the Blue Hour.
My shadow had a bluish tint to it. When I was younger I recall skipping the lines on the sidewalk and watching my shadow. This was the first time I noticed the bluish tint. It was different than on other days when the day gives way to the night so it can rest. As I got older, I would climb to the rooftop of my house and just sit there and watch the sky while taking in the sight of the horizon where the day was meeting the night. I’d sit and look at my Maple tree and the Oak tree and wonder how everything looked and felt so different from a different perspective. It felt magical, like a Hayao Miyazaki story.
However, the sad thing is that as I’ve gotten older, I can’t recall experiencing The Blue Hour in quite a while. The Blue Hour occurs during clear skies and when the sun is below the horizon, but the sun’s light still shines a bit in the sky, which creates the pretty colors we sometimes see during the twilight hours. So technically, the Blue Hour should happen quite often, but the older I get, the less I experience it. It’s like the magic is gone or I just don’t take notice anymore for whatever reason. Just the other day, I was outside walking around the Blue Hour time and while I could see it a bit, I couldn’t feel it. Maybe it’s because the older we get and the more we learn about life, the less innocent it all seems and the less curious we become. The worries of life have a way of stealing our joy in the little things. It reminds me of Peter Pan where it’s explained in the infamous story, Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie, that Peter “must forget his own adventures and what he learns about the world in order to stay childlike.” The difference is that we don’t forget our adventures on purpose like Peter Pan had to, we simply forget them because reality makes us numb to them and what we actually learn about the world takes the magic away. It’s like seeing a magician perform a wonderful magic trick, but once you know the secret, it’s not magic anymore. It’s just a trick, an illusion. While there is a lot of beauty in this sin-cursed world, it seems even the littlest negative traits hold more power to make us numb than a hundred positive things.
I wish we could get back the magic we saw in the world as children, but that was lost as we become adults. The most we can do as adults is to try and keep our curiosity alive to feed the sense of adventure we had as children. Learn new things, visit new places, experience the world abroad and at home. I guess as adults creating new fond memories is the best way to keep the magic alive and stepping into new things to keep our curiosity from fading in our hearts. This is a reason why I think it is so important for each of us to have person goals completely unrelated to the stressful aspects of life, like our careers, and also having personal hobbies and learning new things like a language or art or trying new things even if you’re likely to “fail” according to someone else’s eyes.
The Blue Hour. Go out during twilight and see if you can experience it. It’s a good feeling.
Here is a website with tips on taking photos in the Blue Hour. New Photographer’s Guide to Blue Hour