Thursday, December 22, 2005

longer day

It's early morning here in Amsterdam, and I'm waiting for dawn... truthfully, the day promises nothing spectacular, serendipitous, serene, soothing, soft, suffusing, successful... Really not much worth waiting for, I guess. If I know Amsterdam winters at all (and I think I do), today's patterns of astronomy, geology, and meteorology are not likely to be noticeably different from yesterday in any way at all.

But despite casual appearances, today will be different.

This morning's dawn will, in fact, signal an end to the longest night of the year. Following the winter solstice, today's sunrise represents a moment of transition. On the one hand, the hours of daylight in the northern hemisphere today are not anything to be excited about; in fact, the shortness of time between today's sunrise and sunset is undermined by only one other day out of 365 days in the year... But on the other hand, that other day -- that shorter day -- was yesterday.

So today is a longer day. And from here on out, the light of each day grows slowly -- almost imperceptibly -- longer. And that, my friends, is something worth waiting for...


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