As I was walking down the stairs this morning, I saw on the landing above me, this small moon-like circle of light. In the five years that we’ve lived in this house, I’ve never seen it before.
I immediately looked around to see where the light was coming from, what it was passing through to make the perfect one inch circle or what it was reflecting off of. It wasn’t hard to find, a tiny space in the panel of the wooden bedroom door. The sun streamed through it like light from an old movie projector.
First I took a picture of it then I looked at the time and date on my phone. April 17th, 7:46am. The edges of the circle began to soften and fade as I looked at it. A minute later it was gone.
I thought of the ancient monolithic stone calendars that people used to make to know when to plant and harvest their crops. Places like Chaco Canyon, where the sun shines through small stone windows at certain times of the year, marking the day.
I though that if the whole stairwell were dark, except for the pin prick of sunlight, it would create a room sized Camera obscura. And I would be seeing the image of whatever was on the other side of the tiny hole in the door, upside down on the stairwell.
If I go back tomorrow morning at 7:46 will the circle be there again? I imagine it will come a few seconds earlier or later every day, depending on the movement of the sun. I know some people would easily be able to figure that out. But it’s not so clear to me.
I hope I remember to look tomorrow. But I know there’s good chance I’ll forget. I’ll be outside feeding the animals or eating breakfast myself.
If I do remember I’m going to draw a circle around the small moon.
If nothing else, maybe someday, when someone else lives in the house, if they happen to see the small circle of light with the pencil line around it, they’ll know they’re not the only one who has seen it.