The sunrises and sunsets here at Roundtop this winter have presented more than a few spectacular displays. It takes clouds to make a truly beautiful sunrise or sunset. Clouds create unusual and breathtaking colors as the angle of the sun’s path changes. For a few moments or minutes.
After that it all turns to just clouds. And that’s how January has been here—cloudy.
In many, perhaps most, Januarys here the sky varies between storms and sun. It snows, then it clears and eventually it snows again. This year, we’ve had some of the snow and a fair number of storms, but little of the clear blue skies that usually follow. The cloudiness has remained, a somewhat unwelcome visitor except for those first and last moments of the day.
January daylight is already in short supply. The sun’s rays are weak and the hours of day short. To have what sunlight is possible limited even more by clouds is starting to feel a bit confining to me. I’m not sure it’s seasonal affective disorder so much as photographic withdrawal. In January, a cloudy sky makes the weak light even dimmer, and the hours or minutes when I can take photos even fewer.
Nothing can be done about it, of course. It’s simply a matter of waiting for that clear sky to reappear, for the days to grow longer, for the sun’s angle to grow stronger again. The sunsets and sunrises are glorious and so help a bit to mitigate my impatience, for that’s what this really is. Neither the world nor the sky is as I would will it, and sometimes I just need to remind myself of that.