In the winter, we are wrapped in a blanket of darkness that lulls us into a lethargy of inactivity and huddling inside, away from -40 Celsius weather and endless snow but now it is June and this is the time of year that we come alive.
It starts in April, a quick noticeable change that feels like a light switch has been flipped. The sun comes up at 6 and stays up till 9, suddenly we have more energy. By June, the snow has finally all melted. I can wake up in the morning again. I’m not tired all the time anymore like in the winter. I go through the day restless wanting to do something, see something, to experience something. After work, we go for long walks, make bonfires, skinny dip in the lake, drive around chasing sunsets and bears.
On the weekend we stay up, the sun doing a curve down the side of the sky at 10:30 – 11PM, but at midnight you can still see a sliver along the horizon and at 2AM just when we are starting to get tired the light softly slips in again and we realize it is morning and well, why bother going to bed, so we don’t and at 4:30AM the light is piercing and blinding bright and we close the curtains or put on sunglasses to protect our never slept eyes. We don’t go to bed until 7 or 8 AM. You pull the thick sheet I’ve taped over the window down as you roll over in your sleep and I wake up, my body in the blinding sun and pull the blanket over myself. I still don’t know you well enough to leave my skin exposed and pale in the sunlight like that.
Sometimes we don’t go to bed at all. Instead, we wash our faces and brush our hair and go out for breakfast. The greasy food and orange juice filling us up just right.
Some nights the week before and after the Solstice, the sun never completely disappears, it gets dark but there’s always a wisp, a slight haze of light, that looks like the beginning of a sunrise or the end of a sunset so that any time of the night when we stumble outside to smoke or for air, we see the light on the horizon and wonder is the sun still going down or is it coming up?
We’re restless and we never really sleep but we feel more alive than we have in months.
This is life in the north in June.