In the Dark



This is the time of year, working down to the winter solstice, when my life is lived in the dark. This morning, I woke up before 5 AM. It is now almost 7:30. There’s still not even the slightest glow in the sky to hint at the possibility of sunrise out there. Pure dark. The sun is not slated to show itself until 8:19 this morning.

When I leave work at 5:30 in the afternoon, the sun is already below the treeline. The headlights come on automatically when I turn on the car; by the time I get to the King’s Highway, I’ve adjusted them to the bright setting. Home, I turn on the outdoor lights, which illuminates the driveway. To take a walk down the tree-lined road, I need the lantern.

On the best days, customers come into the hardware and comment, “At least the sun is out today!” Sometimes, business is slow enough that I can step out onto the porch to appreciate it. Most days, though, we don’t see the sun. Lake Michigan is still open water. This time of year, the water temperature is warmer than the air, so the big lake releases steam, and we live in an almost constant haze.

These are the days to light candles, make cocoa, and sit under the reading lamp with a good book. It feels good to have the stove on, so homemade breads and cookies go regularly into the oven, while soups and sauces simmer on the range. The sweaters have all come out of storage, along with boots and scarves and gloves.

It will all change, soon. As the temperatures drop, and the nights stay colder, the lake will form ice, and the skies will clear. Before long, the daylight will start to stretch out, too. Right now, I’m enjoying the quiet moodiness of these dark days.


About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

7 responses »

  1. You evoked that mood of utter darkness that has descended over us at this time of year. Oh but that Solstice is approaching so very close! May you get to step out the door today and enjoy at least a few minutes of light, Cindy.

    • Thanks, Kathy, I did! Today’s my day off, so the dogs and I took a long – wet – walk. We’re having a thaw, which has turned all the deep snow to mush. It’s bright, though not sunny today, but a pleasure to be outside anyway. Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

  2. A haze enveloped by darkness – ooh! That sounds just dreamy! Once upon a time I made a (jesting) deal with my boss to share a house/condo in Alaska. I told her I’d take the dark months. You know how to do it right with the candles and simmering soups and sauces. Your house sounds like it’s so cozy!

    • Though winter is getting harder for me to love, I still enjoy the changing seasons for everything they offer…including these dark days! There is something, it seems, to appreciate in each time of year. Thanks for reading, Sara, and for your comments!

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