Where the Sun Doesn’t Shine

I live in Northern Michigan where the sun doesn’t shine.

I wasn’t exactly counting at first, but I’d guess that we are entering the third week in which the sun hasn’t shined. Not a peep, not a beam, nothing. There aren’t even any ominous dark clouds with silver linings. Instead, the sky is the color gray. A featureless gray. The grayness dims the daylight so that it feels as if we are living in a twilight world.

Many people who have moved to Michigan from other places do not like the state because it is so cloudy. I love Michigan. I love its seasons, its natural beauty, even its clouds. However, usually we do not have so many days of gray clouds. Although I do remember one year in which we didn’t have a summer because every day was cold and rainy. Vegetables didn’t even ripen in gardens that year, and no one had vegetables to enter into the various fairs. The next Spring the weather turned nice again and I kidnapped EJ for his birthday and took him north, just to have some fun. Although, actually, since I get easily lost, I told him that I was kidnapping him and made him do all the driving. “Drive north,” I said, because we have always enjoyed northern Michigan. And now we live here where our hearts always wanted to go! yay!

So a year without sun has happened before, just not very frequently. And fortunately, this twilight is happening in the winter and not in the summer. Still, no matter what the season, I do not particularly like this unending twilight gray. There isn’t even enough snow on the ground to make the world bright and beautiful. We only have a few tiny, tiny mounds of snow here and there which are rapidly disappearing. Everything else is gray and lifeless.

We have a few motion-activated solar lights mounted in various places outside, which are handy when EJ comes home from work in the wee hours of the night or when I have to take Hannah Joy outside after dark. Early last week, I realized that the solar light near the front door was not coming on when I took Hannah Joy outside. I thought, hmmm, maybe there is a battery or something inside that is dead. Then I realized that none of the solar lights were coming on anywhere in the yard, which I found odd because I wouldn’t think all of them would go dead at the exact same time. Then it occurred to me that, duh, these are solar lights and it’s quite likely that they are not working because there isn’t enough sunlight to power them. That is dim indeed.

EJ and I have also been feeling low-powered lately: Tired, low energy, not motivated. We wondered if we, also, aren’t getting enough sunlight to energize us. We’ve been renewing our efforts to make sure we are taking Vitamin D. EJ said that the next time the sun shines–if it ever does–he is going to go outside wearing only shorts to make sure the sunlight soaks in.

I took this photo at about 11 am this morning. The day didn’t get any brighter. This is what it looks like where the sun doesn’t shine.

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