Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dark Days

We are nearing the shortest day of the year, or the longest night. Whichever you prefer. Officially, sunrise today is at 8:41am and sunset is at 3:39pm, but don't let that fool you. There really is not that much sun these days. The sun does not rise very high. We have loads of windows in our front room, but there is a building 4 stories high across the street from us. The sun does not rise above that building. When I am walking towards the Mound, I can see the sun hiding behind the castle. Beyond the Mound, when walking south I have to wear sunglasses in order to see because the sun is directly in my face (of course, that is on the occassional non-overcast day).

Better than last year...

Last year, this time of year was incredibly hard for me. I was crying nearly everyday and had a hard time leaving the flat when I wasn't working. There were a lot of factors: rough time at work, still adjusting to a new country, holiday season without friends and family. But I think the biggest factor that sort of just loomed over all of the others and made them all worse was the lack of sun. I was fairly prepared for it from what everyone was telling me, but it was still such a SHOCK! I heard that the first year is really a shocker, but it gets better after that.

Just last week I was thinking to myself: It's kind of dark now, isn't it? That is how unnoticable it was to me this time round! Well, of course I noticed it, but it wasn't dreadful and I didn't dwell on it. And again, there are a lot of other factors that have helped me cope better this year: we have friends! work is still rough, but I am in a possition to make change and my coworkers appreciate my work, our flat isn't a cold little dark hole of a place.

So, thank you to those of you who helped us through the first year. Last year at this time Josh was saying that he couldn't let his wife go through another winter here. But now I couldn't imagine leaving so soon!

On a lighter note: I have just made my first dried orange slices to string on our wee tree. If only I could figure out how to string them so they don't all slide together...

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