Much is said and written about the Yin/Yang of Solstice, the world in balance between darkness and light. Such a balance does not exist.
Every year, as the sun dips below the horizon in Utqiaġvik (Barrow), headlines around the nation talk about how residents there won’t see the sun for 65 days. As sure as clockwork, 65 days later, some bored writer with pages to fill and a deadline to meet tells us how the residents of Utqiaġvik will finally see the sun.
But, the world is not a sphere, and things are not equal. There are many, many fewer headlines about the sun being above the horizon for 80 straight days. Even when you have column inches to fill, daylight is not as good of a story as darkness.
This week, we’ve had the longest night of the year*, the songs and poetry surrounding it stretch back to the beginning of human history. But sometimes it’s just worth remembering that the longest night of the year is much, much shorter than the longest day.
*In my hometown of Eagle River, the longest day is 19 hours and 21 minutes long. The longest night night is 12 hours and 40 minutes.