We’re New England writers. We live in the northeast, where the sun doesn’t shine much at this time of year. Days get shorter and shorter, the air colder and colder. You can understand why northern people in earlier times worried that the sun might never come back, that they might never be able to plant and reap again. So, Wickeds, where do your thoughts go during the short dark days of November?
Jessie: My thoughts head straight for soup, knitting and reading. Between my crockpot, Ravelry.com, and my local library I am happy to face the longest season of the year. I find the trick is to not fight the rhythm, to use it to my advantage and to save some things only for this time of year. I begin sorting and sifting through yarn for knitting projects I would never consider in the heat of the summer. I pull out the crockpot and load it up with ingredients for hearty winter stews. I reread old favorites that I only allow myself to enjoy when the sun hides away, like the Lucia books by E.F. Benson.
Edith: Even though I have a gym subscription to Planet Fitness, when the days are sunny and the trees brilliant, I head out for a walk instead of doing my weight routine. I feel like I need all the sunlight I can get. At the end of the day, I see mysterious shapes in the long autumn gloaming and imagine just what is covered by all those windblown leaves. But once the long night sets in, I just want to curl up and read. I bake bread on weekends, and find my writing very productive on weekdays.
Barb: In the years of jobs and kids and commuting, I hated the time change. That first day when I picked the kids up at daycare in the dark was such a downer. I always asked my husband to put the Christmas lights up the very first weekend in December so I would have something happy, warm and light greeting me at home. Now that I’m home full-time I don’t find it nearly as bad, though I have to remind myself, when I finally pull my head up from my desk at 7:30 pm or so, that it isn’t midnight.
Liz: Agree, Barb – driving home from work in the dark that first couple of weeks is always a downer! It makes me want to go home and snuggle up in a big wad of blankets. It just takes some getting used to. But I do love big bowls of soup and reading and writing in a nice, warm house with lights glowing in the windows. It’s lovely through the holiday season. But come January, I’m ready to kiss winter goodbye and get back to long hours of daylight.
Sherry: Since I don’t live in New England anymore I looked up the difference in the amount of daylight between Northern Virginia and the Boston area in December. The sunrises earlier in Boston than here but it sets sooner. My net gain of daylight is a whopping twenty-two minutes. Last year we left the Christmas lights on our bannister up. They became Presidents Day lights, Valentine lights, and finally party lights. The creaks and groans of the house always seem a bit louder when it’s dark.
Julie: My internal clock hates daylight savings time, so I like it when it ends. Plus, I work (go to the theater) a lot, so going home in the dark is pretty normal for me. I do resist having to button up my coat, and layer. I love Barb’s Christmas lights story. I put my tree up right after Thanksgiving, and leave it up through January. I also (for some reason) find it easier to get eat well and exercise. So despite the fact that I hate winter, I actually cope with it pretty well.
Readers: How about you?