Winter is about to set in here any moment now, already first snow reported this week (which is late I think!) in Pello and some other communities in Lapland.
In previous years, this time of year I did not look forward to the long polar night ahead. Quite the opposite, I feared it and quite frankly resented the darkness which I could do nothing about. I have found some ways to cope with it now though.
I have discovered that part of getting through our long dark winters is forming an enjoyable routine.
Before, I fought against forming a routine as hard as I could, and tried to come up with all kinds of little interruptions for every week thinking that was the solution to keep me from getting anxiety from the seemingly endless dark period.
But now I've taken the approach that winter is rather a long-distance run; and to live through it (without excessive gloom ;) you have to learn to endure and later enjoy the steady pounding ahead.
Instead of getting swept up in a gloomy mood every single morning that I have to get up to no daylight outside the window, I focus on all the beautiful things only dusk and darkness gives us, northern lights being only one of them.
Once the snow comes and the blue takes over.. that is special too. And once a month there is a full moon lighting our sky and snow, of course.
Though it still is light in the morning and afternoon, I've started a new early afternoon or lunch hour routine on those days that I work from home.
I make a fire in the tile stove we have in our living room.
It's something we would normally do in the evening mainly for ambiance and to heat up the room for the night, but it is so much nicer to do in the afternoon so the stove is already glowing with warmth when Janne gets home.
It actually reminds me a lot of when I was living with a family in Alaska as a teenager and the father of the house also worked from home and he always had a fire built up ready for lighting when we got home.
The weather is getting colder and is untypically to Lapland a bit humid this time of year. Up here, inland, the air is normally very dry, and we often speak of a dry cold (which even at -30C doesn't feel nearly as bad as that kind of wet misty kind of cold that coastal climates often have). My fire keeps the cold away, inside and out.
And there is not a day I don't put my woolly socks on. Socks are very imortant where I live.
8 months of the year double wool socks: 4 months of the year; no socks at all, ha ;)
And speaking of wool, of course, I have my weaving studio this winter. If the nights get too long; I go weave. And snow-shoeing, let's not forget the snow-shoeing. And walking on the river ice. Christmas Eve we have decided to spend just the two of us this year.
Now that I think of it, there are quite many things to look forward too this coming polar night.
So here I am, for the first time actually looking forward to the darkness ;).