L is for Light

Light. It’s essential to our lives. Without the light and heat of the sun, we wouldn’t be here on this planet. Plants convert light, air and water to food, animals eat plants and each other, and so on. One way or another, we are all attuned to light, gathering information about our world. Light from the sun, other stars at night, artificially generated light indoors, the light of a fire. All of these things give us information.

When I was heading from Colorado to Minnesota for college, a number of people warned me about the cold. I don’t particularly mind cold weather, so I wasn’t worried. What I hadn’t considered was the reduced light. Not only shorter day lengths, being farther north, but the cloud cover so prominent in a midwestern winter. I would get grumpy when it had been grey for long periods of time. Not the depression that affects many with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), but certainly cranky and irritable.

I’ve wondered how it would be to live in polar region through a winter, where there was no sunlight for some months. The wonders of the aurora notwithstanding, I suspect I would struggle. I probably won’t find out in this lifetime, but the curiosity remains.

Yesterday was cold and grey, with rain and snow though the day. I noticed that my ambition was less, certainly anything done outside took a little more consideration, preparing for the conditions. Today, it’s still cold, there’s a bit of snow left on the ground this morning, but the sky is blue and the sun out. This far into spring, the sun is quite high in the sky and there’s a curious brightness in a spring snowy morning compared with a December or January winter’s morning.

And then there is greening grass under the snow, along with snowcapped spring flowers. It is an interesting and somewhat magical time. I do enjoy the light.

Written for the ragtag daily prompt of cold and the Blogging from A to Z Challenge: L

11 thoughts on “L is for Light

  1. I have traveled a number of times to Arctic areas, and to the Antarctic Peninsula. After several of these trips, I came to the realization that, no matter how beautiful the scenery, I was definitely negatively influenced by the difference in the quality of the light always coming from a lower level in the sky., even in mid-summer! Light does make a difference in the quality of life!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Definitely worth a visit — a cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula is the way to go! I personally wouldn’t even consider wintering over, though, either in the Arctic or the Antarctic! The Inuit have invented some very creative competitive games to deal with the incessant darkness, but even that doesn’t completely solve the problems!


  2. Light is one reason I didn’t retire in Montana which I basically consider “home.” It wasn’t winter darkness; it was long long long summer days. Since I was 13 I’ve had problems with summer light — depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue. It was interesting to learn I’m not just a weirdo outlier, but it’s a thing. After September, things start getting good again. I would really really like to go to Antarctica, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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