Light

I like having four clearly different seasons. Autumn is my favorite. I like the weather and the colors and especially the energy burst after long, lazy summer days. The best thing in living in north is the light and how it keeps changing throughout the year. I’ve visited Iceland only once but fell in love with the place the moment I was out of the plane and saw the cold December light. In Helsinki the soft light at summer nights is the prettiest.

I grew up near the Arctic Circle in Northern Finland. During winter time it was dark when I walked to school in the morning and dark when I came back home in the afternoon and there was very little daylight between. Summer nights were light so I’m used to sleep in daylight. Everyone who lives in Nordic countries or Northern US, Canada or Russia knows what a struggle it is to survive the dark winter months and what it means to get the light back in spring.

The polar night (the night lasting more than 24 hours) doesn’t of course mean total darkness. It’s defined as the center of the sun being below the horizon and can be described as a continuous bluish daytime twilight. It’s beautiful (depending on the weather) but not seeing the sun rising for months is hard for the human mind and can affect mental health. The natural reaction is to stay at home, sleep and eat carbs.

Accordingly, the midnight sun means the sun being visible above the horizon also during the night which makes the night time light gentle and lovely. Bright spring light is the most cruel one. When the sun finally starts to properly rise it comes from a very low angle shining directly to the face and through windows. For many depressed people this can be even more difficult than the darkness because it reveals everything and forgives nothing.

It shows the dust and the dirt and the pale tired color on our face and the extra weight gained while trying to cope with the winter and it’s not my favorite time of year but it still always wakes me up. It tells it’s time for a sugar detox and spring cleaning and generally more active life. I’ve spent my week focusing on getting rid of my sugar addiction and so far it’s been surprisingly easy (well maybe been a little bit snappy, sorry about that) and started the spring cleaning but still have a lot to do.

The video below is actually a travel ad but I like it because it reminds me of the carefree summer nights when I was a child and shows the soft light I tried to describe above. The music is by Husky Rescue (I don’t know their music but searched the song in case someone is curious). The article pic is from Faroe Islands, it was easily on my desk top.

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