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No Light, No Light

I have a thing about sunlight.

Meaning, I talk about it all the time now. To my roommates, my coworkers — even my family and friends in the Lower 48. Basically, my “sunlight thing” involves forcing the following conversation upon whatever caffeine-seeking victim appears at the station coffee pot first.

It usually goes something like this…

Me: Ah! I’m so tired. I can’t believe how hard it was to get up this morning.

Victim: Mmmm.

Me: It’s probably the sun. Did you know we have less than six hours of sunlight a day now? Crazy!

Victim: Mmmm.

Me: Seriously! Isn’t that crazy?!

Victim: Mmmhmm.

Me: But great news! Only thirty-five more days until the days start growing again! Isn’t that just great news? Isn’t it?!

Yeah. That manic, panicked tone to my voice? That’s not even exaggerated.

Sunlight has been such a constant in my life that its disappearance freaks me the heck out. I’m from Arizona, after all. And even though I love snow and rain and stormy weather… I also love having the sun come out afterward.

And here — during the winter, at least — the sun doesn’t really come out. It can’t. It’s sort of like a sled dog, chained just below the horizon line. I can only see a brief fraction of the circle it runs across the sky, and that margin gets thinner and thinner every day.

In another month, it’ll only last three hours. Three! (Seriously. How does that not freak everyone out?)

Shorter days mean early -- but very gorgeous -- evening sunsets. Photo: Francesca Fenzi, KNOM

Shorter days mean early — but very gorgeous — evening sunsets. Photo: Francesca Fenzi

But as the days get shorter, I’m discovering beauty in the darkness. Shorter days translate to more sunrises and sunsets — if only because I’m now awake to see them. And longer nights provide more opportunities to see the Aurora Borealis. Something I doubt I’ll ever take for granted the way I have sunshine.

An interpretive drawing of my last Northern Lights sighting. Photo: Francesca Fenzi, KNOM

An interpretive drawing of my last Northern Lights sighting. Photo: Francesca Fenzi

And, of course, my appreciation for the sun itself has reached absurd proportions. The six minutes and fifteen seconds of daylight we lost today? That’s six minutes and fifteen seconds I’ll be ecstatic to gain back in January.

Because: Great news! Only thirty-four more days until the days start growing again…

2 Comments

  1. Jim Katen on November 23, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Wow; I can’t imagine.
    Great story.



  2. Janet on December 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I love your story, and your drawing.
    I hope you frame it.