We’re a few days into Spring now, according to the calendar, but the temperatures outside still scream WINTER to me. The sunlight, though, is definitely springtime sun. Ever since this winter was declared the darkest on record since records began, I’ve been feeling the darkness much more acutely. A few weeks ago, we had about one week of warmer temperatures and sunlight- a Spring tease, if you will.
This week, it snowed again. And it got cold, damned cold.
The problem is that Germany pretty far north. Bavaria, where I live, is on the 49th Parallel. In North America, the 49th Parallel roughly describes the border between the US and Canada. For someone who spent most of his life up until 2011 in Florida, this takes some getting used to.
During the core part of Winter, the days are much shorter than anything I’m used to. This is especially true in late November and December- it’s night-time dark by the time I leave the office at the end of the day. Last year, I actually bought one of those sun lamps that people use to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I used that lamp almost every day last winter, and I barely noticed the omnipresent gloom. This year, I mostly didn’t pay attention to the lamp, and the end result was I didn’t leave my apartment as much, I didn’t travel as much, and I was generally less interested in doing much of anything. My friends noticed I was especially grumpy for about two months, and that it was obvious that I was super cranky and unhappy.
The trade-off is in the summer months, though. I was astonished last year while visiting Amsterdam to note that it was still basically daylight after 10pm, and didn’t start to get dark until close to 11. When we switch to daylight savings time this weekend, that will put sunset at close to 8pm. I’m really looking forward to it. (The switch for Germany is on the 31st of March, if you’re wondering.)
As usual, Itchy Feet nails what we’re all thinking:
Summer time is coming. Do you prefer longer or shorter days?