“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
― C. JoyBell C.


I have never been happier to say goodbye to one year and hello to another, even if I am one year older.

Yet, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

mother daughter relationships

“Sometimes the best and worst times of your life can coincide. It is a talent of the soul to discover the joy in pain—-thinking of moments you long for, and knowing you’ll never have them again. The beautiful ghosts of our past haunt us and yet we still can’t decide if the pain they caused us out weighs the tender moments when they touched our soul. This is the irony of love (Shannon Alder).

Hindsight has a gentle way of helping us see the good in the bad. I officially allowed myself an entire “birthday week” last week. I felt as if I deserved that. Heck, I might make all of October my birthday celebration. I’m not gonna lie, last year was quite possibly one of the most challenging of all years. Why? I honestly think it is layered in walking beside my mother in one of her most difficult passages in life (and believe me, this woman has walked through some stuff) and then walking beside my daughter in one of the most incredible passages of her life. Being sandwiched between the two really did a number on my brain (and I didn’t even have brain surgery) and hence, my thoughts and emotions. All in all, it was a year of transitions and as we all know, transitions can and will squeeze the life out of you, if you let them.

So, my birthday mantra this year was simple: Here’s to opening the door to 54! Cheers!

What exactly am I opening the door to, you might ask? Well, several things, I hope. First and foremost, I’m going to bask in the gloam.


My thoughts exactly.

About a month ago, now, Candace and I were on our maternal lineage adventure to Prague/Uhersky Brod. Late one afternoon, we left our hotel in search of something (I can’t remember at the moment.) Just twenty steps or more into our walk, she stops.

“Look! Look at that gloaming!” she said.

“What? Look at the what?” I asked.

“Gloaming. C’mon, Mom, you know what gloaming is, right?” (Don’t quote me. I can’t remember exactly what she said.)

“For the life of me, I have never ever heard of that word.”

“Well, gloaming is that golden light, late in the afternoon, that casts a beautiful glow on everything,” she smiled, raising her camera to catch all the glory.

Candace Rose Rardon

“How have I missed that word?” I exclaimed. I’m such a logophile. Unbelievable.

“And, I’ve been writing and thinking about ‘the afternoon knows,’ for weeks now. How did I not catch this? It’s incredible!” I said, chastising myself as only I can do.



The gloaming of the city square clock tower really made me take a deep breath. Stunning.

Uhersky Brod, CZ

So, in typical Janell fashion, I oohed and aahed, snapped pictures, basked in this new-found sensation, and spent some time much later in the night, researching and reading all about it.

Defined, “gloaming is the latter part of the day (the period of decreasing daylight from late afternoon until nightfall), often referred to as poetic twilight or dusk.”


So that’s why this particular moment on the St. Charles Bridge in Prague took my breath away….it was the gloaming….the golden glow resting on Prague Castle. I guess Candace wasn’t near me when I snapped this shot and had a little conversation with myself about its’ grandeur…or she would have taught me that vocabulary word right then and there.

Once again, Nature spoke. Not only does gloaming happen in the transition between afternoon and night—gloaming happens in the difficult transitions of life, too. Sometimes we need to stop in the middle of our difficult circumstances and look up. Notice the golden glow. Let it sweep us away and leave us breathless. Teach us something new. Help us discover the unknown, about life and about ourselves.


There it is again! Little did I know at the time…but I know now. I wait all day for signs of gloaming. It makes me smile!

Join me, will you? Let’s open the door to basking in the gloam. Maybe you’ve experienced the golden glow and would like to share that with us. Please, we’d really like to hear all about it. Share your pictures, too. Maybe you’re like me and didn’t even know there was a word, gloaming, for such magic. And, I’m going to say a special prayer that the golden glow of gloaming breaks through the dreary days of rain in your life.

P.S. We’ve had at least 7 days of straight rain…dreary, blustery, and downright depressing (okay, I know there is beauty in all weather), but while I was writing this…yes, the sun broke through! I’m on the lookout for some gloaming later today!

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