The short days are getting to me.
I love the holiday with its festive mood and gatherings, but the days are too cold and too short this time of year for someone like me to call it the best time of the year.
I prefer the hot days of summer where midnight is as lively as noon.
What I dislike most, though, is the dark. The “black of night” seems blacker, and I find myself craving light. I’ve never been a fan of long nights, but since my visit to the Islands of Orkney a few years ago I seem to miss the light more.
When I was there, it was June, and the days stretched on forever as the summer solstice neared. Nights were lit by soft sunlight that disappeared only for a few hours.
The tour guide at Maeshowe , a chambered cairne build roughly 3000 years BC, noted that it was the opposite at the December solstice. A soft glow for an hour or two, then darkness.
We then hunched over and walked to the center of the tomb, which was pitch black and the guide shone her flashlight to recreate the Solstice sunlight. Whenever the lack of light really begins to bother me, I just flip to this website and remind myself it could be darker.