Thursday, January 06, 2011

"long" days

I had grown rather accustomed to the nearly equal length days that occur here both during the "summer" and "winter" months. Then, last month, I went back home to my distinctly Northern Hemispherical point of origin and my time there straddled the winter solstice. Days were short and it was an odd feel for my first couple days back. It's only an hour or so where this feeling really sets in since it's not that far north, but it was rather peculiar. Certainly not sinister or foreboding, but just one of the more subtle indicators that I had traveled some significant distance. I'm back here in sometimes-rainy Gabon and with daylight at 18:00, it's like a mental psyche-out that makes me think I should keep working. Actually, I'm writing this from work, but this is justifiable since it's now 19:00 and only some sad, lonely e-mails are waiting for me.

I went through a similar seasonal phase last year in Hungary, which is the furthest north I have ever lived. During the summer, the long days led to longer work days, but dusk would last late enough to still get in many good walks around town. But during the winter, the short days were cold (and it was an unusually cold winter that year) and gave one a feeling that we should all be at home, sipping some hot green tea while sitting on the couch which I had turned into my bed. Alas, many days were spent in the office sipping that tea from my most excellent mug. At least the office was warm and the chair was comfortable.

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