What is joyful about living in darkness?

On Winter Solstice the sun rose at 7:09 a.m. and set at 3:45 p.m, marking Maine’s shortest day. The clock still ticked through 24 hours, but we groped around in the dark for most of them.

Darkness has gotten a bad reputation, associated with evil, fear, and gloom.

Apparently I’m missing some depressed brain cells, because living in darkness brings me joy.

For my fellow humans who suffer from seasonal affective depressive disorder this post cannot help you. Your condition is serious, and you need to seek medical attention, sit under a light, and take a pill.

Having stated this disclaimer, my comments may assist those who are not clinically depressed, but find more things to whine about this time of year.

Concerning wine, have you noticed how much earlier 5:00 seems to arrive? Ahhh, the pleasure of sipping a glass of wine, swaddled in an L.L. Bean blanket, wearing multiple layers.

Couple Having Dinner With Wine Glass On Table

Courtesy depositphotos.com/AndreyPopov; edits by author


Concerning layers, have you noticed how winter wardrobes hide a few extra pounds? Like a fresh snowfall, you know there is something under those smooth, glistening bumps, but you really aren’t sure what. You find yourself scoffing at the bathroom scale as you linger in front of the mirror.

Concerning mirrors and other glass surfaces, have you noticed how smudges and streaks are invisible without sun shining on or through them? Good news! You can pack glass-cleaning supplies in the back of the closet, along with your tank tops.

Concerning cleaning, have you noticed how hard it is to see dust and dirt on furniture and floors this time of year? Remember dust bunnies? They used to scurry all over the house before we became obsessed with vacuuming, and they are so adorable.

Concerning bunnies, do you know what is the most popular birth date in America? September 16. Do I need to do the math for you, or is it obvious what has gone on in December?

These dark days include celebrations like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus and New Year’s. Let’s not get so caught up in these big events, that we neglect the little things that hold life’s greatest pleasures.

Because come June and July when the sun is high in the sky, and daylight lasts an eternity, there will be no hiding from the dust, the streaks and the cellulite.

Treasure these dark, abundant days while they last.

What do you appreciate about darkness? What brings you joy during dim winter days?



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55 thoughts on “What is joyful about living in darkness?

  1. It’s lovely to be able to enjoy the seasons for what they are. For me it substantiates an ability to live in tune with the way your environment is. Light or dark both have their positive and negative associations and different rhythms of life.

  2. Hey, Sis! Now I know why your birthday is September 15th! Not so sure I needed to learn that though. Guess I’m no different from other folks when it comes to thinking about your parents and sex. My mind’s eye!! My mind’s eye!!

  3. We’re in the middle of Summer down here in Australia – the dust is shining and the light is hanging around til after 8pm – and not a blanket in sight – you’ve made me miss Winter a little bit 🙂

  4. A refreshing take on the darkness of winter. I think we spend too long longing after summer days and lighter evenings when sometimes it’s nice to spend time cuddled up inside by the fire.

  5. Us humans always desire what we have not got. Well, some of us 🙂 Sun doesn’t make a full appearance here in Southern Spain until 8.30am, good excuse for a coffee in bed! Plus it is lighter for longer in the evenings. It’s great to experience all sorts of seasons. Luckily for us all reading this is we get to see another sunrise. Enjoy that wine Molly and the company.

  6. All good points! Most common birth day here is september 26th. With an average pregnancy of 38weeks, that apparently means jan 2nd is the day!
    I’m possibly a bit strange as I am scared of the dark, in the sense that I prefer some light when I sleep, but I absolutely love winter and the dark nights. I love when the nights start drawing in and the clocks go back. Not a fan of summer. Or sun!

    • I like summer, Lucy, but I don’t like to be out in for hours at a time. I do like the dark nights of winter and I like it dark when I sleep to the point that I have to cover up the digital dial of the clock. You can only imagine how hard it is for me to sleep when daylight is eternal during the summer.

  7. So happy there are seasons, where we have dark, gray days! It was like that all day today, and I got lots done online and in the house! In summers, we spend weekends windsurfing, the sun goes down around 9:45pm and it’s light by 5am. I guess that’s why “spring cleaning” was invented, once the sun came out, we could see all the dirt and dust that accumulated! Fun read, as usual, Molly!

  8. When my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said blankets, slippers, pajamas, and pillows. I much prefer heat to cold, but if I have to suffer through winter, I want to do it while as comfy and cozy as possible 😀

  9. Living in Queensland, Australia our winter days aren’t too bad even though they are shorter. I actually have loved travelling to Europe and North America during winter to experience the coziness of this time of year. I suppose it is nice to experience but if you had it all the time you would be wishing for sunshine and heat!

    • It doesn’t bother me too much, Sue, thought a bit harder for me this year. It is a cozy time and makes the longer days all the better when they gradually arrive. We are getting some more daylight in the afternoon now, but it is still dreadfully dark in the morning.

  10. I agree with so much of this. I love the ease of winter night snuggles with my kids under cozy blankets. However, come early March I am so very ready for spring!

    • Yes, Mandi. Definitely ready for spring by March. Unfortunately in Maine March and April are still winter months with a few teasers thrown in. But there is a lot more light by then. I’m glad you enjoy the cozy dark winter days too.

    • I usually find the darkness ‘cozy’ but this year has been more difficult for me, Jennifer. But I do like the dust hiding capacity of all the darkness and enjoy letting the dust bunnies roam free.

    • Yes indeed. I’ve always loved the dark days. Even as a child, I remember feeling like it was cozy and time to slow down. I’m somewhat of an indoor person anyway, so it gave me an excuse to hole up in my room and read. By candlelight. Oh wait, we did have electric lights back then.

      Merry Christmas to you too Peg!

  11. Ha ha – all so true! I love winter clothes and boots. I also love the anticipation of Spring when we have the cold dark days. It’s that wonderful dormant period where stuff we can’t see is going on under the earth. It’s the early nights in bed, curled up with a good book in my fleecy onesie hugging a hot-water-bottle that I love. And just for the record, I couldn’t care less about dust bunnies and streaks. I leave them alone until people are coming to visit and then I blitz them. Lovely post – thanks for the read. ?

    • I love everything you said about enjoying dark days Gilly. What a luxury to bundle up and read, with no pressure to go outside in the sun and sweat doing chores. I’m rather proud of my dust right now. Left undisturbed I feel like I’m looking at everything through a filtered lens. Or do I need to clean my glasses? That’s one cleaning job I need to keep up with! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a delicious comment.

  12. Sistah! My husband accuses me of secretly being a vampire, but I LOVE the long,dark days and get grumpy when things once again begin to lighten. Hibernation suits me and I sleep like a rock—-I love the hearty, stick-to-your-ribs foods of this season, the rest it gives my gardening body, the quiet, the good book by a fire. I play certain music when the light starts to fade and yes, there is wine. I think it’s wired deep in our DNA to come inside towards safety and comfort and warmth and community during these months—–and we generally throw a Winter Solstice party to celebrate that very thing!

    • Thank you for sharing what you love about dark days, Elise. It is so good to know I have kindred spirits in my love of the dark. The food, yes the food! I do love stews and soups, root vegetables and roasts. I am at a total loss in the summer when it comes to cooking. Would love to come to your Winter Solstice party. Maybe I’ll see you in Maine next August. I hope so, my newly found long lost friend! Merry Christmas!

  13. I love the way you look on the bright side when it’s dark! There IS joy to be had when we hunker down for winter and can’t see the dust or the poundage! Thank you for this revelation, Molly! I also appreciate the absence of guilt about getting out in the garden. And how much earlier 5:00 (and wine time) seems to arrive.

    • There is a bright side to darkness for sure, Roxanne. I don’t garden but I still feel guilty when the weather is perfect and I have the urge to sit and read. All of that has blown away with the dead leaves and I am in my glory! Thanks for stopping by. I’d like to write more, but it is wine-thirty so I must go. 😉

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