I don't mind the change of the seasons so much. They come; they go. There's something to enjoy about each of them.
What's tough for me, though, is the prolonged darkness as we creep toward winter.
The days are so short. I miss the hours and hours of leisurely evening sunshine. And this weekend marks the end of Daylight Savings Time. While I certainly won't mind the "extra hour" of sleep on Sunday morning, I mourn the shift to even less daylight in the evening.
It could be worse, though. I could live in Scandinavia!
When my sister and I visited Sweden last summer, it was just after the summer solstice, and we enjoyed daylight until almost midnight. During our stay in Scandinavia, the sun set at about 11:30 pm each evening -- and rose again at 2:00 am! (I must admit to never actually SEEing the sun rise at 2:00 am, but that was the schedule.) It was lovely. Balancing the equation, though, is the very short daylight time in Scandinavia as the winter passes. By the winter solstice, the sun won't rise until 11:30 in the morning -- and will set again at 2:00 in the afternoon!
Swedish style -- in home décor -- well-known for clean, simple lines; pale, soft colors. Light wood. Light walls. Blues. Yellow. Lovely. All . . . intentional and influenced by light and weather. When the winters are especially long, dark, and dreary, it's all the more important to bring lightness inside.
I was especially struck by the Swedish windows.
We noticed the charm of the Swedish windows right away. Most windows are open -- no heavy curtains or drapes or even screens. Almost every window had some combination of plants, lamps, collections of objects, or candles arranged on the window sills
One of our tour guides explained that Swedes prefer unobtrusive window treatments like sheer panels or lace - or no window coverings at all - to make the most of the natural light; to invite light.
She explained that people decorate the window sills in their homes with care, to bring their attention to the window; to the light.
I was inspired by the windows I saw in Sweden. They were charming, no doubt.
But, more than that, I am inspired to use my own windows . . . to invite the light . . . into my life during the cold, dreary, dark days of winter.
"Live in rooms full of light."
-- Cornelius Celsus