The sun shines between the trees on a cross country ski trail in Duluth, Minn. yesterday afternoon. Bob King
Summer brings long hours of sunshine and winter takes them away. Throughout history, winter has been associated with darkness, scarcity and cold, all of which are perfectly reasonable descriptions of the season. Days are short, crops don’t grow and no one likes to freeze. Where I live the day length has dwindled to about 8½ hours, and we’re still more than two weeks from the solstice.
A few winters ago I finally became aware of something that had been staring me in the face for years. The sun! It was a November afternoon, and I was walking in the sun’s direction along a downtown sidewalk. The blazing disk shown directly down the street and flooded my vision with so much light I could hardly see my way ahead. I stopped for a moment and let the light caress my face. I could even feel its warmth on my cheeks and closed eyes.
The sun rises over Lake Superior in Duluth, Minn. During winter’s short days, the sun spends a lot of time at low altitude, the reason it’s often in our ...