Darkness, darkness


A couple of times a year, the sun comes in my south facing bedroom window at just the right angle to warm my face while waking me up.

This morning being a “day off” in the midst of the merry-go-round that is December, I let myself stay in bed – watch the designs on the insides of my eyelids, and let my mind drift. This kind of quiet time happens so rarely, and I encountered this perception: Here I am, one of billions of humans who, at some point today, will get up while my side of earth is facing the sun, basking in its light and warmth. We will run around and do stuff for roughly two-thirds of this rotation. Then, while our side of the earth slips into darkness, we’ll lie down for roughly the remaining one-third of it, to “re-charge the batteries” while asleep. We will all get up tomorrow and do it again, for probably thousands of more times.

But ironically, right now we get sunlight for only one-third of the spin, which means we spend about eight of our waking hours in (relative) darkness, too. (This would have been much more noticeable before all the electric lights.)

This year I decided to do something about all this dark in my environment – I asked for, and have received, one of those cute little heaters disguised as a fireplace. I usually don’t like fake things, but this is close enough to a real-looking fireplace, that it’s helping me with winter’s cold and the dark. I’ll find myself edging closer to as I’m reading. (Now I just need a fireplace sound-track.)

Luckily, this being the end of December, we’re at the turn-around point. But it will be a while till we’re out of the long, dark nights.

How do you cope with the shortest days of the year?