Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Extremes in light

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When I was coming to France for work and living full-time in Florence, I could easily accept the darker days and gloomier weather because it was like having more variety in my life. Now that Iím settling into my life a little more in France while maintaining my life in Florence, I notice the differences even more. During the winter months, the sun rises late in the morning after Iíve already woken up. The skies have lately been a dark grey that lightens up by 9 am. I find that I try not to focus too much on the lack of light and focus on what I do like.

I miss the sun and blue skies a lot more now. At any glimmer of sun that peeks through the clouds, I practically rejoice. When I was in Italy, I would follow the sun: wake up to it as it rose up behind the hills to the east and wind down when it set in the west. In France, itís still dark outside when I wake up and the sun doesnít rise until Iím already sitting at my desk in the office. It takes some getting used to and Iím still adjusting to it.

Itís unfortunate that I work during the few hours of daylight. Fortunately, I sit by the window and enjoy the light that streams in. I catch myself looking out often to see if there are any changes from the grey skies I woke up to.

The sun then sets before 5 pm, which makes the days seem even shorter. I canít imagine growing up with such little light. When I was a child in California, I donít remember many dark and gloomy days. For me waking up when it was still dark meant that it was very early in the morning.

The interesting result of such little daylight now in the winter is that weíll have a lot more daylight in the summer. Sometimes the sun rises at 7 am and sets around 10 pm. For me, that feels almost excessive because I like to sleep when itís dark and awake when itís light.

While I was dealing with the extremes in temperature in Italy, Iím now living extremes of light here in France.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Me, My Heart, and I's Facebook page. Thanks!