Darkness coming

Sunset over the Charles River,
midway between Boston and Cambridge,

Perhaps the most jarring thing about being on the east coast for Thanksgiving was the astoundingly early hour at which darkness fell. We're certainly not enjoying long, lingering days ourselves here out west, but at least some semblance of daylight sticks around until 5.

Not so in New England. At Mom and Dad's, I'd look out the window into what appeared to be at least 7 p.m., only to discover it wasn't even 4.45. In Boston, I took some photos of the sun setting as the Red Line crossed the river; when I got to Harvard Square, emerged aboveground again, and looked up at the bank clock over the station entrance, it read 4.31, and behind it was smudgy darkness, as if the remains of the day had been sucked down a drain.

My first thought as I stood in front of the venerable Out of Town News waiting for Paula was, Damn, I am no longer fit for anything like an actual winter. But then some relentlessly cheerful part of me piped up with a reminder that although we're on this steep downhill slide of light loss until December 21, once we hit bottom on that anemic day it's once again a sweet (if painfully slow) climb back into brightness.

I'm stunned, still, at how much night we have to slog through for the next several months, and at how the window of opportunity for daylight activities grows narrower and narrower. My kingdom for a chunk of sun-drippy June.