This time of year is the roughest, psychologically, out here. When the sun starts to dip before most people eat dinner, it’s tough for me to stay positive. Especially on a day like today, when it was overcast all day and never really that bright out, the night seems just about unbearably long.
In order to fight of the dark, I light candles and have battery powered puck lights going. The one electric light I have is lit up by the door and my best oil lamp is burning bright on the table next to me. There’s also my ubiquitous head lamp hanging around my neck, though I’ve gotten better this year about not wearing it in public so much.
I brace myself for the onslaught of long, long nights by knowing that before the end of the year, the days will be getting longer. Perhaps it’s only a couple of minutes a day, but I remind myself every day that after the winter solstice it will get better.
I don’t know why the dark beats me down so much, but I bear it alright. Not grin and bear it, mind you, just bear it. On nights like this all I want to do is be inside a nice, brightly lit house. It seems so much easier to just flick a switch instead of digging out an old half-candle and match it up with one of the holders. Then I have to keep an eye on them since I don’t know which candles will be dripping like crazy. I also have to get to them and blow them out before they get too low into the holders, otherwise I’ll be grabbing a screwdriver and digging out what little wax remains.
All in all I guess it’s not too bad though. I re-melt the stubs into new candles, thereby recycling even the meager little inch of wax that otherwise would go into the garbage. Compared to my first winter out here, this place is like the Las Vegas Strip at night. But that’s only a relative observation.
To be honest, I have to choose the stress of basking in darkness for an inordinate amount of my day, or deal with the worry that accompanies having a dozen fires going in my very dry wooden house. At least I’m not worried as much about the woodstove, but I do think a few more electric lights may be on order soon.