My inner Druid

Posted by Ken Campbell November 20, 2012 1 Comment 1282 views
One more month. That’s how long we have before the days start getting longer again. Sunrise today will come at 7:22am and sunset is scheduled for 4:28pm. That’s barely more than 9 hours of daylight… and there’s still a month to go of that number getting even smaller. By the solstice, December 21st, daylight in this part of the world will have receded to a mere 8 hours and 23 minutes.
(To talk of such things as “sunrise” and “sunset” is something of a fantasy too, at least in western Washington at this time of the year. In the morning, the sky turns from black to gray; in the afternoon, it turns from gray to black. That’s it.)
I know that the darkness is even more of a factor elsewhere. I am aware that, if you live in Alaska, or northern Russia or Iceland, that you might not even see gray sky all that often, or when you do, the duration of your daylight hours is markedly less than we have here. It’s hard to fathom, but there it is.
I completely understand how entire religions were based on sun worship. Christmas is a modern holiday that has been draped over an earlier pagan celebration of the return of the sun. The solstice was the occasion when the annual death of the natural world was revealed to be a temporary condition, and the people rejoiced at the understanding that the cycle was still intact, that the days would warm once again and that life would return.
I’m not saying that I would have based a religion on it, just that I get why others might. (There have been plenty of religions established with far less observable truths.) What I will say, however, is that if you’re going to live up here in these latitudes, you have to embrace the dark. Tolerating it is not enough.  You have to adapt to the diminished light and live your life as best you can without being able to see much of it.
The sun will return… really, it will. And there’s always Costa Rica.

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