Midnight of the Year

Steve is giving me dirty looks, guilt tripping me because I haven’t posted anything on this blog in, like, forever.

Steve and coffee mug and dirty look

Well, my excuse is that I was sick over the holidays. Two nasty bouts of flu in the space of a month. And then, somehow, I just didn’t get back on the horse…

Steve’s having none of it (stuffed bears can be so demanding!). But there I was yesterday, looking out the picture window at the view of the lake, a thick white cloud hanging so low over it it feels like I’m sitting in a kettle with the lid clapped on.

The cosiness of December has given way to cold, muck and dreariness, and it feels like I haven’t seen the sun or the blue sky in weeks. (“There is no sun. … There never was a sun,” said the Witch. “No, there never was a sun,” said the Prince, and the Marsh-wiggle, and the children…) All I want to do is to curl up on the couch with my fluffy reading socks on my feet and my fluffy reading blanket over my lap, reading a fluffy novel.

And then it all of a sudden struck me: maybe that’s just what we’re meant to do this time of year? Maybe so many of us feel tired and unmotivated in winter because it’s the time when we’re supposed to sleep. This is, in fact, the midnight of the year.

Winter splinters

Or, rather, winter solstice is midnight. I learned in Physical Geography class some years ago that the hottest time is actually just after the zenith, and the coldest immediately after the nadir. So, the hottest time of day is around 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon, and the coldest time of night an hour or two after midnight – once the temperature has had time to catch up with the amount of sunshine the earth got (or didn’t get, as it were). If you correlate the cycle of the year to the hours of the day, then right now, January 18th, is about 1:50 AM.

Lake in shades of grey with lid on

And what else are you supposed to do at Ten-to-blinkin’-Two in the Morning other than sleep? Human beings are diurnal – we’re awake in the day, and sleep in the night. At least that’s what we’re designed for, notwithstanding Mr Edison and his light bulb which screwed us all over with its perpetual artificial daytime.

And so maybe that craving for fluffy socks and blankets and books is, in fact, quite normal and healthy, and ought to be indulged as much as possible. You know how, when your kids get up in the middle of the night, you roll over and just sort of grunt at them “Go back to sleep!”? Like that.

So bring on the socks and blankets and Pride and Prejudice. I’ll talk to you in the morning – umm, I mean in spring.

Life, the Universe, and the Midnight of the Year. See you when the sun comes up.

5 Comments

Filed under life, this and that

5 responses to “Midnight of the Year

  1. That is exactly what I have been doing! Hibernating and hitting a deep place of relaxation – ahhhhhh. Today we have sunshine and Nick is insisting we walk this morning. Good idea, as my legs are forgetting what it feels like to move!! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve actually never had it explained more clearly!! No wonder why I’m so tired. But really, aside from Steve’s words on it which I know are golden, the science is behind you. It’s to do with sunshine activating the Vitamin D in the body, and Vitamin D has much to do with mood control. Our doctor said that, in Canada, because of our climate, over half of Canadians are Vitamin D deficient. Yet, we’re still so nice. Lol. Our resiliency knows no bounds. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda-Claire Steager

    I’ve seen one theory- teenagers go to bed late, middle range “normal” sleep times, “old” folks awake in middle of night. Thus, the camp, or cave, was covered all night to raise ghe alarm. I’ve banished the cat( hear that, Lilu) from the bedroom at night, and have definitely been sleeping better.

    Liked by 2 people

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