Light in the East at Sundown: What is its Source?


On the evening of September 25, 2014, my son, Stephen, and I were sitting at the picnic table on the porch looking at the sky. And we began to wonder, as we had in the past, why the sky looks so bright in the east at sundown. Where does the light come from?

He loved the view and the refreshment of being outside

I had just been telling him about a poetry prompt his sister, Jamie, had chosen for her Poetry Thursday, and that I wasn’t sure what to do. Her prompt was to ask yourself a question using Who, What, When, Where, Why, How or use all six. So, he said, “Well, there’s your question.”  

We talked about it more. Then he and I collaborated to write the following poem:



 If the sun sets in the west
 why is the sky in the east
 brighter than the sky above us?
 Is it because the sun rays
 bounce off the earth and
 fade as they travel skyward?
 Is there a light coming
 from below or is there
 something above shading it?
 Whatever the cause be it
 direct light or reflection
 the effect is beautiful
 With blue skies above
 pink shadowy clouds
 dark outlines below
 We pause to reflect
 gazing in wonder at
 the handiwork of God. 
view from our porch of the evening sky at sunset


I miss those times together with my son. Stephen left this earth at the end of November of 2019, a little over five years after we wrote the poem. He was a deep thinker, an artist, a writer, a gifted young man. I am thankful for all the writing and art he left behind. It doesn’t just bring back memories. It’s as if a part of him is still here with us, though we can’t converse any more.

We will never stop missing him, but we have a sure hope that we will see him again one day. As we read these words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians:

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NIV

I want to end with a poem Stephen wrote in December of 2015. Take some time to ponder his thoughts. What do you think of his conclusions? Do you agree or disagree?


 It spins energetically, it thrives, it thinks, it hurts.
 But we don't notice.
 It laughs, it cries, it jests, it questions.
 But we don't notice.
 Why is it here? Why does it ponder, play, and feel?
 We don't care. We are too busy.
 What keeps our attention?
 What are we after that keeps us from pondering our existence?
 We don't know. All we know is we want it and are going to get it no matter what.
 It is a struggle – a race against time, a war against space.
 It is only I, my enemies, and my goals. I know of nothing else.
 Are we not blinding ourselves?
 Is it so ridiculous to think we are each part of a greater story,
 A story much broader than our private realities dared allow?
 Perhaps it's time to stop lying to ourselves,
 Perhaps it's time to embrace the existence we keep running from,
 And be what we were created to be,
 More than hungry beasts,
 More than indifferent apes,
 But children of the God whose image we bear,
 Creations of the Creator who brought about this phenomenon,
 This mysterious, wondrous phenomenon we call Planet Earth.
 ~Stephen J. Wright~

(This post originated on my former blog. I have updated it, but the poem my son and I wrote is in its original form. I also added an original poem by Stephen)

I’m linking up with: #InspireMeMonday

10 thoughts on “Light in the East at Sundown: What is its Source?

  1. Dear Gayl,

    These thoughts that Stephen expressed are so exquisite. Truly, he glimpsed so much of this life that many of us slide right by. Thank you for sharing his poetry with us. And what a gift to have collaborated on poems together! I am so grateful that God has helped you to keep and then to share those words with us, one at a time, at just the right moment. They blessed me tonight, as the Lord has asked me to slow down and pause with Him too. Sending you love and hugs across the miles dear sister.

    1. Dear Bettie, thank you so much. Yes, he really caught much of what most of us miss. I’m so thankful I have these writings as memories to cherish. I’m so glad you were blessed by them. Much love to you, dear sister! xoxo

  2. Gayl-I love both of these poems. My heart aches at the thought of you losing your son. I’m so glad you have hope of seeing him again and that you have his lovely writings and deep thoughts to cherish until then.

    1. Amy, thank you so much. I’m sorry to have taken so long to reply to comments. I’m so glad you love the poems. To me they are very special. Blessings to you!

  3. This is beautiful. Wherever the light in the east comes from at sundown, it is a promise of a New Day.
    There is coming a day,
    When no heartaches shall come,
    No more clouds in the sky,
    No more tears to dim the eye,
    All is peace forevermore,
    On that happy golden shore,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.
    What a day that will be,
    When my Jesus I shall see,
    And I look upon His face,
    The One who saved me by His grace;
    When He takes me by the hand,
    And leads me through the Promised Land,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

    1. Oh, Lisa, thank you for reminding me of that song. What a beautiful promise that we will see Jesus face to face and all our loved ones who’ve gone before! Blessings and love to you, dear friend! xoxo

  4. Oh what beautiful poems, Gayl. Both of them. I am so glad you have this comfort through his writing: “It’s as if a part of him is still here with us, though we can’t converse any more.” I think his writing expresses God’s longing for us all to draw near. And that love is indeed eternal and oh so present.

    Oh how deeply you must feel his physical absence daily. I am so thankful God is so near in the grief and filling you with hope. I hope one day you can publish a book with his work in it. But all in God’s timing anr purposes. Sending love and hugs xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, dear Anna! Yes, I agree with you about his writings. And we do miss him so much. His wonderful smile and his words of wisdom and just his presence. Thank you for your prayers and your love, dear sister. Much love and blessings to you! xoxo

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