Dark

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Detail-oriented I am not. I do not have a mind that demands immediate, concise answers to questions. Instead I tend to extrapolate, to assume others will extrapolate similarly, and to dismiss inconsistencies as lack of understanding rather than … you know … actual inconsistencies.

And so when people complained about the Pacific Northwest winters, I dismissed it. “Pah,” I said. “So it’s gloomy and rainy. You people have no idea what it’s like to be trapped in your house by snow and ice. Your winters are easy!”

And so I moved here without taking into account the thing that–I am beginning to understand–they were really talking about. And that’s the gloom compounded by the daylight hours.

We’re farther north than I’ve ever lived. When we arrived, a couple weeks after summer solstice, it didn’t go full dark until nearly 10:00 at night, and the sun rose at 5:00.

Now we are past the vernal equinox, the sun doesn’t peek over the horizon until 7:00. It’s pretty dark around 6:00.

On December 21, the sun won’t rise until 8:00. It will go down at 4:15.

This is all requiring some mental adjustment, on my part. I haven’t been in the habit of getting out of bed in the dark since I was in high school. There was college and different time zones and latitudes and … you know.

So happy dark days to all of you, especially those living at equal or more extreme latitudes. Here’s to lots of candles, table lamps, fairy lights, hot drinks, hot baths, and long winter naps. We’ll all wake up in spring. We always have.

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4 thoughts on “Dark

  1. I think we live on the same latitude, maybe slightly further north. Long summer nights make up for the short winter days, and what I found helps is strings of led lights, on top of cabinets and bookcases for instance. Doesn’t add too much to the electricity bill but does make a room more cosy.

    • I think you’re 100% right about LED lights all over. I have a string of IKEA snowflakes hanging in my study–love ’em!

  2. You’re a little north of us [we’re almost exactly half-way between the equator and the north pole], but dark is dark, especially when it comes in late afternoon, and is still there when you get up. But on the other hand we have days that are bright and sunny, and it reflects off the snow to give us “double bright” so to speak. And there’s a lot to be said for being cozy and warm inside and doing “inside things” when it’s too dark to go out. And you get to see the stars so much earlier, instead of staying up late to watch for meteors and satellites. It ain’t all bad!

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