Friday, October 28, 2005

Shorter Days

Sometimes living in the woods is no different than living anywhere else. Sometimes life just gets so darn busy that I don’t see anything around me.

As much as I love the dark side of the year, with its cool temperatures and views of the mountain next door, sometimes I don’t get to enjoy much of it. That’s especially true during the work week when it’s dark when I leave the house and dark when I get home.

At this point in the year, it’s not yet full dark on both ends of my day. I have 45 minutes of twilight after I get home and about 20 minutes of it before I leave the house. Since during both of those times of almost daylight I’m rushing around getting ready for work, getting unready after work and letting dogs out, I don’t get much time to actually look at anything.

I was reminded of this fact again this week, as I must be every year around this time. Intellectually, I know the days will grow short and the nights long, but every year there’s a point where the emotional meaning of that knowledge suddenly feels real. It feels real today.

What the shorter days mean to my life is that my observations and enjoyment of the outdoors tends to get pushed to the weekends or my days off work when I am home during daylight hours. It’s tough to enjoy living in the woods when I’m tripping over my own feet in the gloom of the driveway. The only birds I encounter are the songs of owls, the only animals the raccoons that raid the feeders.

In some ways the situation will improve in another week or two. Once the leaves are completely off the trees, I’ll be able to see the sky and navigate the darkened woods in the light of the stars or the moon. But that’s a topic for another day.

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