Thursday, December 16, 2004

Sunny Day


"What is that?" we asked one another this morning as we sat down for breakfast. "I think it's the sun...."

We were almost forced to pull the blind so we wouldn't be blinded, but the novelty of it all made squinting at each other over our porridge a better option. Not that the sun doesn't show itself here in the northeast of England, but not quite so much or so brightly! Crystal thought it was a perfect blue Texas sky. I was actually thinking of California.

It's not only that it's always a little damp and cloudy outside, but the fact that the days are so incredibly short as we approach the solstice. Sunrise tomorrow is scheduled to be at 8:23am and sunset at 3:38pm! To help with the math, that's a grand total of 7 hours and 15 minutes of sunlight. It has its advantages -- even a late sleeper like myself often gets up before (or only slightly after) sunrise, which makes my sleep patterns seem more acceptable than they are. But having it start to get dark after lunch is a little crazy. And if I go outside at (so called) "high noon", I can reach the horizon with my pinky and the sun with my thumb at arm's length.

Today when I was walking back from the library at around 4pm, I noticed the cathedral glowing a beautiful reddish orange. As I crossed the river on the old stone pedestrian bridge, I saw several people stopped, leaning on the stone wall and looking up into the sky. What a sunset...bright colors, patterned clouds, reflection in the river, two rowers guiding their boat under the bridge with their wake rippling the still water. I took it in for a few moments and then quickly texted Crystal on my mobile to go take a look before pressing on home. (I couldn't resist stopping by the bakery for a little apple cake on the way).

Noticing my own astonishment at the sunny day, I dared to look down at my hands. Yup, the palm and the back are exactly the same color. I think I'm truly an Englishman now. Hopefully not pasty, but certainly white (except when I've been outside in the chill and turn pink....). It was almost enough to make me wish I had stood outside in the sunlight for all 7 hours to soak up as much as I could before going home for Christmas. But I think it was probably better that I got that last paper written and turned in.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not complaining. It's truly wonderful in its own way. And it means life will be nothing but sunlight come June. And even more, it provides yet another reason to sit down with a warm cup of tea, my apple cake, a good book, and my blankie.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Living in Tacoma Washington, it's a treat to see the sunshine, even if it is on a computer screen. I had a ton of reading to do on your blog. It seems there's some news since I last checked in. I'm thrilled to see that you're expecting a wee one! As small as it is right now, it'll change your life in amazing ways.

Melody and I are enjoying the northwest, although I'm keeping plenty busy with training. As you may know, we have another young 'un by now, Mary Grace. It looks like we may need to postpone our trip to visit you in Durham back until 2006. I'll let you know when we have the tickets. Ha! Of course I'm kidding, but we're stilling hanging onto the possibility of seeing Scotland again before too long.

Much Love,

David Kerr et al.

10:15 PM  

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