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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Waning Days

mid-July, 10.00 pm

We've been lucky to have a stunningly beautiful September. It has definitely made up for what I would call about a B- summer. Some of the summer was perfect, but there was a pretty good stretch in July where cloudiness reigned. I remember being very grumpy about it all and my husband wondering aloud if I could just accept that weather is weather and does not have to be the great determinate of a satisfying life. But I live in Sweden I argue. I have darkness imposed upon me for several months of the year so when the light season is upon us, is it too much to ask that the sun actually shine for all of its 23 hours?shadows at the summer soltice

We just passed the autumn solstice and never before in my life have I paid so much attention to the solstices . September 21 marked the beginning of more hours of darkness than daylight. I may have cried a little that day. From now until December 21 we descend into a darker world. And even though it's really dark and the days are really short for about a month after the winter solstice, I somehow feel a bit of joy when the longest night has passed. At least I feel that we are ascending into light again. It feels very theological, but I'll save that for another day.
I have had genuine feelings of sadness as the summer light has faded. I woke up at 6.30 the other morning and it was still light outside and I was so thankful. I am so happy that my daytime and even early evening walks with Tanner are in the light. Soon, all of it will be in the dark. It is hard for me. It is hard for everyone. I have rarely heard someone say, "Oh, I just can't wait until the days get shorter."mid-July, 10.30 pm

Of course, you do find your rhythm and figure it out, but I don't think I could ever grow to like it. People will say to me, "Oh, I couldn't live in that kind of darkness." And I answer, "Well, you could if you lived in Sweden!" If someone had told me 12 years ago that I could live for 11 plus years in a place where you only got 6 hours of daylight I would've laughed in their face. My goal in life was to head south to warmer, lighter destinations. Too bad God had different ideas! So it's not so much about being able to do it...you just do it because you have no choice if you are going to live in Sweden. But you do have to figure out coping methods. So, in order to stave off the jarring affect of those early short days, we're going to the Italian island of Sardinia mid-October. We should be able to walk on the beach, sit on a terrace, wear light weight clothing, maybe swim in the sea. I should be able to boost my tan which, again, shows how shallow I really can be. Being tan helps me cope with the darkness. And of course, in God's great grace, he knew that if he moved me this far north, he needed to provide an outlet so he's kept my folks firmly planted in Palm Springs, California where we head every winter for a couple of weeks.
It's not soooo bad living here. But I will miss getting up in the morning and opening my blinds and seeing the day sky. I hate walking the dog in the dark all the time. It's hard to slog through the afternoon when it feels like the middle of the night and all you want to do is go to bed. I think the bears have it right...just sleep off the winter and reemerge when spring arrives. Today looks like a nice day. I better get out and soak it up.