Posted in A Moment in My Life

“The Sun’s Day Off”

A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, September 9, 2020

“No way! I don’t believe you!” If I were you, I wouldn’t believe me either, but I witnessed it for myself, making a believer out of me. I woke up like usual just after 6:00, and my first thought was ‘gee, it sure is getting darker faster,’ which wasn’t that surprising since I’ve been waking up to dark mornings lately, just not this dark. Usually, I could see my fingers without turning on the lights. Today, I couldn’t see anything without turning on the lights. 

I opened the blinds to a dusky orangey daybreak that didn’t alarm me since many fires were still burning strong. I made my way downstairs, opening the blinds as I went like I usually do, but boy, was it dark inside. I gingerly made my way down the stairs trying not to lose my footing. Out of habit, I didn’t think to turn on the lights. I could see a yellow-orangish hue outside the window under an opaque orangey haze. The veil of smoke above the haze was so thick between us and the sun that the sun couldn’t report in for duty today. The sun had to take the day off. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. Why not the sun? Our sun works every single day without complaint. I know that our sun is still standing by waiting for its call to duty, even when forced off duty. 

Without the sun, it didn’t hit me how dark it was until I attempted to use the microwave, but I couldn’t see the buttons to press without turning on the lights first. That’s when it hit home that this is a morning like none I’ve seen. 

Instead of getting lighter as the day broke, the darkness intensified, getting darker by the hour. Even the streetlights thought it was night and kicked on around 10:00 in the morning. I felt confused because I was starting my workday, but the atmosphere looked and felt like 9:00 at night, and a little voice whispered in my ears, “it’s time to unwind and get ready for bed.”  

It resembled dusk around noon, reminding me of my Alaskan cruise when, one night, as we neared Seward at 11:45, the sky was finally dark enough for twilight. I draped myself on the ship’s railing and soaked in that twilight for as long as I could stay out there. 

I remember thinking that I couldn’t handle having daylight all day and all night for half a year, then having total darkness for the next half of the year. Being on the ship with a week of daylight was tough to acclimate to. I’m glad the ship darkened the windows of the dining hall in the evenings. That helped, but not enough. The daylight kept me active and messed up my sleep cycle. Today, when the morning went straight to night, skipping everything in between, I found myself drifting back to that cruise, but instead of perpetual daylight, we got an extended night. Instead of feeling more productive, I felt the opposite. I sure hope the sun reports for duty tomorrow. 

I always appreciate the sun, and I welcome it every day it reports to duty. Today made me strive not to grumble the next time the sun is standing back while the overcast or fogginess take center stage. I know the sun is there, meekly brightening our day right behind the clouds and fog, and that’s way better than it is off duty. 

This year has broadened my horizons more than I would ever have imagined. Who would have imagined a day without the sun? Who would have imagined that we’d skip the day and go right into the night this far away from Alaska? Indeed, not I? If I took the sun for granted, today reminded me to appreciate it. I pray for full containment of the fires so that our beautiful sun shall report to duty every morning and take center, or side or backstage, but it will shine from wherever it is.

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