Tuesday, December 21, 2010

5hrs 40min....

As I sit in my chair, I watch as the sun which rose just several hours ago, begins to set.  I find a subtle joy in seeing this, as today marks the shortest and darkest day of the year, the winter solstice, which means tomorrow will see a gain of 5 seconds of daylight.  Still I find a sadness about me as if an old friend, utter darkness, has once again left us until he returns to cast a cold and dreary shadow of solitude and despair, upon our S.A.D.ened heads.  Yesterday found me in the darkest corner of the basement, by the light of one flickering solitary candle, scratching the clicks of days into the sheetrock....tomorrow will find me waking to a new day and counting the hours that await with a promise of warmth and an abundance of life giving light...although I have about 4 and a half months to go still...

5 hours and 40 minutes of daylight today!  This is the time of the year that depending where you are standing, the sun never makes it to the treetops.  Last night we had a spectacular view of the lunar eclipse!  It was -0F degrees so we would watch for a minute or two...go in and warm up.  Go back out and watch for a minute or two....go back in to warm up.

This morning, worn out from last night's brilliant ecliptic display, the moon began it's descent behind the trees at 9:45AM.  I woke last night at around 1:30AM and the full moon cast such light reflecting off of the snow that it seemed as if it was the middle of the day.

The sunrises the past few days have been so intense.  As if the sky had ignited on was on fire!  The colors and hues that are cast into the morning sky create an impressionable memory both in my mind and my heart this time of year.  It reminds us both, every time we see it, of how fortunate and blessed we are to be able to live amongst this kind of God given majesty!

Along with the intense sunrises,there have been some pretty warming alpenglow skies in both the mornings and evenings.  It has been so amazing to us both how the sky takes on such enhanced and brilliant colors in the winter.  It has inspired me to work on mixing glazes that somewhat reproduce some of these natural hues for my pottery.  I am kind of thinking of running a line of wares that represents the cool and soft tones of winter!

I was drooling over some scenery the other morning and caught the sight of 3 moose grazing in the morning cold.  It was -14F below zero this particular morning, a day after some seriously torrential winds battered the peninsula for two days straight.  There were times when I sincerely thought that the house was going to lift off the way the winds would roar in across the lake, getting louder and louder before they would pummel into the house and literally shake it.  Judging by the calm of this mornings picture one would never realize the stress both man and animal had withstood just hours before!

Despite the cold Maryann and I have been indulging in much snowshoeing this winter and have caught some pretty nice scenery while exploring different trails.  I am not going to say that the temps being below zero necessarily discourages us, but it sure takes some serious motivation to get out and be active when it is that cold.  It most certainly makes you appreciate a warm truck heater when your done, or a wood stove to thaw in front of!  This next pic is of the sun in the sky at mid day....12:00 noon give or take 15 minutes!

All in all this winter seems to have a sort of grip on me.  Although I really haven't been scratching out hash marks in the sheetrock down in the basement to count the days, I have had somewhat of a difficult time with the lack of light this year.  I have found once again that since I started loving up to my happy light more often and increasing my dosage of vitamin D-3 to 10,000 IU's per day it has helped.  Typically this time of year seems to become a hibernation for many people.  Life definitely slows down.  I find myself sleeping in until 8:00AM or later on some days depending on what cookin for the day.  The cold plays a huge part in making me slow down and unfortunately my motivation starts to flounder.  I have found personally that it goes from winter to winter on how I react to the cold and the lessening of light.  For instance, last winter seemed to be great for me.  Lots of energy, motivation...although I had some periods of very mild depression.  Yet, this year I seem less energetic, not real motivated, sleep like a big ol bear but have had no depression at all.  I think we have learned to cope with things the best we can here.  It is by no means all bad!  And for those who have been counting the years until we finally broke and decided to head back to the lower 48....keep counting!  It aint gonna happen, man!!  We both love it all too much to even entertain such thoughts.  All of the pluses in this life here far outweigh the very few factors that we have to just compensate for and re-calibrate from time to time.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and if you get offended by that then for your sake we wish you a happy whatever it is that you believe in your hearts!  It really doesn't matter what it is you celebrate as long as you are celebrating it in the way that suits you, and for this we hope the next couple of weeks are a safe and good time for all.  And for anyone who sent us a card but haven't received one back...this is all part of the unmotivation I spoke of!  I have studied on writing one of those prefab Christmas letters for the past couple of weeks, but just haven't had the gumption yet.  It may end up being a Happy New Year card this year!

A winter Solstice moonrise just minutes ago over the lake....which is an iced up snowy meadow until around May!