Autumn’s Blessed Twilight Hours

Dear Reader:

Normally around this time of year you hear people complaining about the early sunsets and encroaching darkness by late afternoon. But…perhaps not as much this year… as Rachel Hackenberger, in this excerpt from her devotional, In the Wee Small Hours, points out.

“The sun is limiting its face time with the northern hemisphere these days. Dawn rises each morning with slow luxury. Noon casts long shadows. Dusk reddens the autumn leaves in late afternoon.

But even without the sun standing still, daily upheaval has quite an overwhelming intensity. As does election news. As does pandemic news. As does pretty much everything else. 

Meanwhile the moon is spending an increased amount of time whispering a different necessary truth: Here, for all, are the lengthening hours of the night, a gift for repentance and restoration. For quiet and calm. For dreaming and releasing.”

I found myself nodding as I read this devotional message…since I look forward, myself, to the early darkening skies….it makes me feel safe…like when I was a child pulling the covers over my head to block out any bogey man hiding in the closet.

These days I am writing my blog posts in the mornings and afternoons so by the time darkness descends I am fixing early suppers and then finding cable channels that show uplifting movies or comedies or reading…a way to relax and escape the on-going turbulence I find, as a history teacher, so bewildering, scary, and downright unbelievable.

Tomorrow I leave for the mountains with Tommy and Kaitlyn…I am beside myself with excitement. I find myself repeating the same phrase over and over in my mind….

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

We are going to Lake Toxaway, NC…the largest private lake in North Carolina.

There’s something magical about Lake Toxaway. Maybe it’s the pure, stream-fed waters that make it one of the cleanest lakes in the region. Or the picturesque, meandering shoreline that invites fisherman and nature lovers alike. Or perhaps it’s the backdrop of majestic
mountain ranges that serve as faithful sentries watching over the community. Whatever it is that connects with one’s mind and soul, visitors over the years have felt it.


When I read this “promo” two phrases jumped out at me…it’s “magical” and “it connects one’s mind and soul” together. Bingo!

I so badly want that now….a “Calgon…Take me away” moment in time. My eyes are yearning to see something new, different, and soul inspiring…mountains and waterfalls should do it!

I mentioned in an earlier blog…  I desire a “Thoreau” get-away from the world to feast my eyes on nature. Move over Thoreau…I am following your advice….

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” I plan to immerse myself in God’s Handiwork and can hardly wait to discover what I “see.”

So until tomorrow….

For all of you traveling this Thanksgiving…put your safety in God’s hands (while you keep both hands on the steering wheel :).

Remember…Loved ones await…it will be a special Thanksgiving date.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Thank you Gin-g for the pumpkin bread to take up with us to the mountains…always a great way to start the day! Kindness starts and ends with Gin-g!


*** Update on Tigger. Some of you who read yesterday’s blog after lunch yesterday heard that Tigger got sick and ended up in ICU….ever since some of his teeth were pulled a week ago…he hasn’t been himself…weak, listless and unable to eat much.

Last evening he had a blood transfusion because his hemoglobin was very low. Tests were also run.

Mandy said they are supposed to get back to her and John  this morning on the results of the tests. Please say a little prayer for our first grand-dog…in the family. John and Mandy got Tigger weeks after their marriage in May of 2008….so the pictures above are his 12th birthday photos this past June.

The family would appreciate prayers as they await the results of the tests today…their plans to go to Alabama to John’s parents for Thanksgiving had to be cancelled yesterday sadly…not knowing what is going on with Tigger yet…a much beloved member of the family.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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