Friday, December 21, 2012
Happy Winter Solstice!
Winter Solstice is one of two very special days in the year to me. Not something I particularly noticed until I moved to Alaska as wee lass. That's when I learned how important the sun is, especially to places on the extreme ends of the earth. By that I mean North and South.
Alaska is as far north as you can get and still stay in the USA. Barrow is at the very top top of the state. Barrow hasn't seen the sun above the horizon since 1:44PM on November 17, 2012. It won't peek above the horizon again until 1:11PM on January 23, 2013. 67 days without seeing a single ray of shining golden sun. I must give thanks to Carmen Bydalek for this information she posted on the AKRWA blog. Check it out. Lots of interesting facts there!
Here in Anchorage the sun will rise at 10:14 AM and set at 3:42 PM for a total of 5h 27m 40s of possible sunlight. I say possible because clouds could interfere. When we look into the sky to see the sun, we will look due south.
My brother, an avid fisherman, has his birthday on Dec 22, a day he calls "Salmon Return Day." He insists that the salmon far out at sea can sense that very slight change as the daylight increases by a few seconds. It is then they begin their journey back to the streams of their origin. Just he can catch them and fill his freezer. He likes living in his world. The rest doesn't matter to him.
Although the sun is returning, bare seconds and minutes at a time, we're still in the deep long dark of winter. December, for all its darkness outside is bright with Christmas lights and the excitement of the holidays. The secret to making it through to the end of winter and avoiding cabin fever is to keep busy. Many ski, or take to the back country on snow machines (what the rest of you call snow mobiles. Some villagers call them snow-gos.) or the lakes for ice fishing. Others dig in, take Vitamin D supplements and read while avoiding the influx of the Christmas bills and tax forms hitting the mail boxes.
But now is not the time for dark contemplation. Today is for celebration! We're done losing light! From here to June we gain it!
Until then, read a Sci-Fi Romance that also celebrates the Solstices. FROZEN may be found at a variety of ebook retailers and is hot enough to keep the long, long nights warm indeed! However you choose to celebrate, I wish you all the best.
Get Some Tonight