11 December 2017
Thoughts in the Dark
I used to hate this time of year and the unrelenting darkness. Get up and go to work in the dark, come home in the dark, all dark all the time. I do cherish my time with the constellations, looking up and finding the stars, tracing the formations, hoping for a glimpse of the Milky Way on a cloudless night. If only it wasn't so damn cold. Hard to appreciate Orion skulking on the horizon or the Little Dipper dumping stars on your head when your teeth are chattering. As much as I love Mars, I won't be up at 3:30 am to watch it rise.
I used to hold my breath until December 21st, hoping I could make it through the shortest day of the year. It doesn't seem so bad this year. With the constellations at night and the sunrise in the morning, everything is okay. I love seeing the first cracks of dawn push their way over the horizon. Pinks and oranges and teals, with some racy purples mixed in. Then the orb rises and pushes the darkness away, painting the tops of tree with gold light. Who couldn't like that?
This time of year also brings Christmas lights. Sometime a extravagant excess of lights, but pretty lights all the same. The neighbors whose display could be seen from the ISS moved, so I don't have to put my lightblocking curtains up in the front window. Playing Christmas music along with the lights starting on Thanksgiving should be outlawed. Just saying. But other neighbors have some gorgeous displays. I love just blue lights on evergreens, and the icicle lights draped over gutters and around trees. Not so fond of the blow up cartoons and moving ornament spotlights.
The dark also alleviates the guilt over wanting to sit inside and knit or write or do artwork when my inner voice nags me to go outside and enjoy the day. Sometimes I listen to that inner voice, turn off the computer, head out to enjoy the little bits of sunshine and warm days we get this time of year. All too soon the sun sets, but I linger outside to watch Orion clamber over the horizon chasing Taurus, the Pleiades huddled together like we do when faced with darkness.
So how do you handle the long winter nights? The long dark? The long wait until spring?