When you think of it, what comes to mind? My first thought always was (and still is) dusk. But, technically, it includes the time of day we refer to as dusk, and more.
Merriam Webster online, 1 : the light from the sky between
full night and sunrise or between sunset and full night produced by
diffusion of sunlight through the atmosphere and its dust; also : a time of twilight.
So, it occurs twice daily, morning and evening.
Then, to get technical, there are different kinds of twilight--with different definitions:
Civil twilight when the center of the Sun is geometrically 6 degrees below the horizon.
Nautical twilight, when the center of the sun is geometrically 12 degrees below the horizon.
Astronomical twilight when the center of the Sun is geometrically 18 degrees below the horizon.
*sigh* That just takes all of the mystical, spiritual, and romance right of it. So, flipping the switch to the other side of my brain.
There's just something about twilight. It's a transition of nearly indescribable proportions, overcoming our earth. At the end of twilight, everything changes. It is the change between light and dark, the creatures of the night and the creatures of the day.
It is the change between the time that was...and the time that is coming. That is huge.
As a metaphor, it is beautiful, and most often used to refer to a decline. "The twilight of a life."
Twilight alludes to the precipice upon which we stand, and there is always one beneath our feet. It is saying goodbye, and saying hello... It is glancing behind us to take stock of what we've done. It is quelling our fears as we look ahead.
I will share one of the loveliest quotes pertaining to twilight that I have ever read, written by Andrew Sullivan in "The Conservative Soul".
Star Forming Region S106 Image Credit: GRANTECAN and IAC
That about sums it up. We don't know what lies ahead. Such small creatures we are, yet the hope of what lies beyond twilight, drives us forward.
*note I really don't think of vampires when I think of twilight. Not even sparkly ones ;-)