Heavy rain beats against the windows. It’s the longest night of the year, one of my favorite moments. I love these long nights when the world contracts to a few pools of light and time gets slippery. Someday I’d like to spend a winter far up north where the night stretches into months.

A year ago, C. and I arrived at a ferry house on an island in the Baltic Sea where the sun barely rose above the horizon before setting at three o’clock in the afternoon, a suspended twilight. We felt furtive, almost apocalyptic as we pilfered the unoccupied flats for salt, blankets, and power adapters. Although we couldn’t know it at the time, that remote winter became a kind of preparation for this long year of isolation. Now we’re holed up in the Midwest, trying not to think too hard about the headlines that say the virus is becoming more contagious.

But the sky continues to go about its business, creating situations that inspired our ancestors to invent gods, feast, recite poetry, sit in silence, and take hot baths. Thirteen hours and forty minutes of darkness in Ohio tonight before we begin inching back towards the light, and the winter stillness feels almost holy.

Echospace – Sunset

The Coldest Season | Modern Love, 2007 | More