Winter Light

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I love the way light works in winter.

The late start to sunrise allows me to complete my entire morning run in the dark, which makes the run somehow more peaceful. Also, I feel like a stealthy ninja slinking along in the dark, which is pretty nifty.

Running in the sunlight, I feel exposed and somehow lumbering and slow. I hypothesize that this is because I can see so much farther. When you can see how far you have yet to go, it feels an eternity to get there.

When the sun comes up, often long after I've walked the dog and showered and made tea to work at home for a bit, the light has a crisp, clean whiteness. The summer sun is buttery yellow--also nice, but it comes too early in the day. In fall and winter, I smile more as dawn breaks.

In Chicago and London, I felt differently. Chicago's fall light meant the coming of a brutal winter--a miserable season that eventually drove me out of town. The changing light in London meant the advent of a depressing dimness that settled on the earth until spring. Daylight only lasted a few hours in winter, the sun felt so far away when it was at its height, and the light was gray and mute. London's winter dimmed my motivation and enthusiasm.

Slow in arriving, the winter sunlight in Houston is sparkling when it appears. The season brings the best of both worlds: Dark mornings, often with a little snap in the air, followed by glorious, full, vibrant sunlight during the day.

Winter in Houston is magic.