The setting sun cast an irresistible glow through our windows tonight and it pulled me straight out the front door and down the street to the edge of town. The mountains were out. Sleeping Lady, covered in a blanket of snow. And beyond her, the magnificent Alaska Range. A little to the north, I could even see the tops of Denali and Foraker, showing as just bitty white triangles from my obstructed and completely inaccurate point of view.
The sun set at 6:36pm tonight. It will rise tomorrow at 8:53am. We are losing light at more than 5.5 minutes/day. And that is why I sat down to jot this post. Because I have been wanting to say…..one of the things I will take with me from Alaska is an appreciation of the way people here make a priority of stringing lights on houses, trees, fences, hedges….whatever. When it starts to get dark, the lights go on.
Over and over again I have found myself out walking the neighborhood in the deep dark cold Alaska winter, feeling so grateful for the varieties of light. To walk in the light offered by another – I experience it as a generous gift. It’s something we’ve learned to do here ourselves, stringing lights out into the dark. And I imagine it’s something we’ll continue to do long after we leave. (Gloomy, wet Oregon November could use some added light, as I recall!)
A couple of my current favorites in the neighborhood this year:
When I sat down to write this, I remembered a post I wrote several years ago: Light That Shines in Darkness and so I went looking for it. Turns out I wrote it on October 18 as well. The seasonal rhythms beat strong here.
From 2019 – 17 Beats: Ways we make it through