In the far north, we do our best to embrace winter; indulging in every sort of winter sport: skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross country skiing, and lots of winter walks. We beam at the winter wonderland of fresh snow, enjoy cozy days at home with the kids when the schools close for a winter storm. A beautiful White Christmas is the capper. Nothing is better than inches of fresh snow, blanketing the landscape, aglow with Christmas lights as we scurry about in preparation for our time with family and friends.
And yet, no matter our best efforts, winter begins to wear us down. Is it the cold? No, not at all, we shirk off the cold; we know how to dress for it and by mid-winter, we skip gloves and hat when the temperature hits the teens. Is it the snow? It can be, when we are buried under the snow of massive winter storms. But what is it really, what really wears us down? THE DARK.
For those with early work schedules, leaving in the dark and arriving home again in the dark becomes a depressing, drudging ritual; like some low budget sci-fi flick where the sun has been removed forever. We long for the light; we HUNGER for it; longer hours of daylight and the holy grail of winter relief: The Return of Day Light Savings Time! By the time it comes, we have enjoyed our lengthening days, ever warmer sun and rising temperatures. Then it finally happens, we arise on Sunday morning, one hour short of sleep, knowing that the sun will set an hour later. This simple thing, adjusting the clock, lifts our spirits. We smile more easily and begin planning for the spring and summer ahead. The simple fact is this: without our season of darkness, spring would never be so sweet.