What is your favorite time of the day?
Do you love sunrise surprises? Do you enjoy the noon hours white light?
Or the early evening hours with their glorious sunsets?
June 21st holds the honor of being the longest day of the year. In my neck of the woods
(Wasilla, Alaska), that day provides us with twenty hours of daylight. This extravagant length of hours
seems to slow time and confuses our understanding of morning, noon, and night.
It’s been my tradition is to stay up all night on this Summer Solstice. I’ve heard it said that Alaska
is an insomniac’s paradise. Suffering from a bit of insomnia myself,
I can attest to the difficulty of trying to put oneself to bed when the sun is still shining.
On the solstice, I don’t even try.
My personal favorite time of the day this time of the year has always been the window of
magic hours from 10:30 p.m. to midnight. The sun goes down slowly during this period,
displaying a long and glorious sunset. The light remains in a suspended state somewhere
between day and night.
Old Sol hovers just behind the horizon, casting a filtered light of lavender as a
Prussian-blue sky and crimson shadows give the scene an otherworldly glow.
I often sit quietly in my secret garden next to my lake carefully observing the various elements of my
surroundings. Because I am an artist, I mentally translate the colors I see into pigments
and am inspired to attempt to capture the essence of what I am experiencing. At these moments
I think of something Vincent Van Gough wrote to his brother, Theo:
"One of the most beautiful things by the painters of this century has been the painting
of darkness that is still color.” I feel like one of those artists as I sit and contemplate how to capture
the magic of the midnight sun onto canvas—how to paint the darkness that still has color.
For now, I’m content to enjoy the midnight sun, as soon enough it will be night most of the day.
But the long winter’s night is magical, as well. Oh, the sights you can see: the Milky Way, the aurora,
nighttime so clear and clean you can see planets and galaxies with the naked eye! Sunrises, sunsets,
and bliss, “oh my.”
At the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year), it’s my tradition to remain snuggled in my
new flannel pajamas all day long, no matter what. Tradition is a cozy thing.
Blessed Solstice to Everyone