Life Lessons

The Violet Hour

The violet hour.  That’s the phrase T.S. Eliot used in his poem The Waste Land to describe the end of the day.  But he wasn’t only describing the color of the sky at sunset, he was also evoking melancholy.  Eliot got the visual right – the sky is actually purple some evenings.  But I’m not buying into all of his sadness and gloom.  Because for me, the violet hour offers serenity, a respite from the fast-paced day.

sunset on the roofdeck

Singer/songwriter Carole King – now she got it right.  Her song Up on the Roof is one of James Taylor’s signature hits.  The notion that you can find solace and peace by climbing up to the roof might seem idealistic, romantic even.  A skeptic would ask: Who does this?  How high up does one have to climb?  Isn’t it dangerous? 

I’m not exactly sure how high up it is, but my roof deck sits atop a seven-story brick building, offering a 360-degree panoramic view of my city.  One of my neighbors goes up there at dawn with her first cup of coffee.  Another likes to sunbathe in the noon-time heat.  Me, I wait for the violet hour, when all of nature slows down.  It’s my favorite time of day.

How do you spend the violet hour?  Whatever you do, here’s a little mood music:

red poppy



2 thoughts on “The Violet Hour

  1. Alicia Dorment says:

    Great song and great message. We all need to enjoy every shade or purple and yellow and orange at all hours. We all need to stop and catch our breath. Thanks for the great thoughts.


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