Though not strictly true, it sometimes feels as though these long summer days are endless. Where I live in the US, I tend to experience about fifteen hours of daylight during the height of summer. From 5:30 in the morning to 20:30 in the evening, I ride my bike, go hiking, take long drives, visit botanical gardens, and on occasion I enjoy the sandy beaches of my home state. I thought I knew what long summer days were. Then I moved to Durham.
Now at first mathematical glance, it doesn’t seem that it could be too different a sensation from home. Durham has about eighteen hours of sunlight at the height of summer. The sun rises at 4:30 and sets just before 22:00. What possible difference could three hours make?
Quite a lot.
I never realised just how much my routine is tied to the sun. Had I any inclination to spirituality, I might now consider becoming a sun worshipper. I have often found myself waking up at 5:30 with the bright sunlight streaming through my window as though it were 9:30. I have sprung out of bed fully believing that I was late for my morning CrossFit class. The benefit to this is that when I wake up, I am up. I don’t feel groggy like I do when I’m at home and the mornings are greyer. The downside is that I’m fully awake at 5:30 for no good reason and the sun will not let me go back to sleep.
Another issue I’ve run into has been forgetting to eat dinner. You would think that I would just eat when I’m hungry, but this doesn’t seem to be the case, much to my own surprise. On more occasions than I care to remember I have gotten to 21:00 and realised I haven’t had anything to eat. It’s that damn sun again. The sun was telling me it was 18:30 and that it was just getting to be dinnertime, rather than it being well past dinner and getting on to bedtime.
Then there is bedtime. Going to bed when it is still daylight feels odd. Terribly odd.
There are plenty of other places in the world where the differences in sunlight are so drastic that the sun doesn’t set for months. I’ve often wondered what that must be like. I sure hope I get to experience it sometime. I think I’ll just need to set an alarm to remind me to eat dinner before the month is out.
|This is what it looked like at quarter after eight during the first week of June.
This is how it looks around quarter to nine now.