Circadian Song: Kinsale Drake on Living by the Sun

Circadian Song: Kinsale Drake on Living by the Sun

Photograph by Kurt Bauer / Connected Archives


Words by Kinsale Drake

In Diné tradition, one rises each morning with the sun, blessing and greeting the day. How, in a modern world that encourages disconnection, can we honor synchronicity with nature?

forgive me mothers

              I have fallen out of step

with the rhythm

              of the sun/ not to eco-ndn but

something pulls 

              at the tide

                            in my chest/


forgive me/ for stumbling

              out of the kitchen into light

too often already scorching

               down mid-afternoon/



               from your eyes/ I imagine/

the holiest talking-to

               from the jays in the brambles

and the cheii

               in the prickly pear/


look girl

              don’t you remember 

                              the song of your birth? 


forgive me/

              I forget my tongue

                            and yours/

                                           perhaps one/

you trail the soft edge of horizon/ I trek

              the crumbled roadside/

                           to cities/


misled by false light/ syncopation/

              the protest dimmed/

                           in my body/


forgive me/ 

              let me find 

                           the song


              the song




when I was a girl

              my mother went out 

                    to greet the sun

                                  each dawn

                                                 palms pooled

                                                               in blessing


I stayed

              in the cool dark

                             of the rooms

                                          until one morning

                                                       her calm movements

                                                                                   woke me 


I crept

              sliver of horizon  

                           toward the threshold

                                                       of home

                                                                    the sky


                                                                                                 into light


This article first appeared in Atmos Volume 08: Rhythm with the headline “Circadian Song.”

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