We are headed there to thaw out next week. I am looking forward to the sunshine. When we moved here, I was worried about two things: Cold and Dark. Honestly, the cold hasn’t been that bad. Besides giving you a serious adrenaline rush, -28 (we were expecting -40 by now, Thanks Global Warming) and making you hack like a terminal TB patient when trying to breathe, it is certainly livable. You come inside and park by the heater. Eventually you do stop shivering. Given this early success, I thought the dark would prove no big deal, either. I cheerily posted about the short days and low solar profile over at NFSC back in November. Two weeks ago, though, we stopped getting any direct sunlight in the cabin at all. And then it got overcast. The last two weeks have been a haze of grays and blues. The sun supposedly comes up around eleven. It lights the sky but nothing on the ground, and isn't visible from where we are. It heads down again sometime before three. I could (and can) feel that lack in a thorough and fundamental way that I am still having trouble pinning down. It’s trying to catch your breath after being under water for too long; even with your nose and mouth clear, there is not enough air.
But today is Solstice, the Long Night. The sun will rise at 10.48 and go down again at 2.49. At sunset this evening, everything will turn. It will send us into 21 hours and 19 minutes of night. Tomorrow, the sun will hang above the mountains for nine extra seconds. Saturday will give us twenty nine more. By mid January we will be gaining nearly ten minutes of light every day. There is so much hope in nine seconds.
Thinking about today brought me back to Summer Solstice. We have come so far from that long, rainy day, from watching a perfect sunset, ourselves perched on the rippling back of the
It is light now, at eleven thirty, the sky pink in perpetual dawn, clouds broken up enough that some baby-blue sky is showing, trees blanketed thick with the snow we got last night. I am glad to fly down to