Europe N to S: Equinox (9/21/16)

​Today’s Miles: 31.7

Total Miles: 1,734.8

Near Björbo, Sweden – September 21, 2016

I remember walking past midnight under the Arctic sun. Only the low, northern arc betrayed the time. Only the weariness in my feet forced me to camp.

I was rich with sun. 

I’d sleep with my hat pulled over my eyes and wake up late in the morning, sometimes past noon. Time didn’t matter. The sun would always be there to light the way.

Now I can only watch the sun fall and stare like a poor man might stare at a department store window.

I don’t know when the sun first set, when a bit of twilight and dawn snuck into the day. I remember sitting by the reindeer herd and speaking with an old Sami who told me the midnight sun was gone for the year.

First it only fell behind tall mountains. Then it dipped below the horizon for a few moments at night. That grew to a couple hours of dimmed light. Then I saw the first stars flicker into the sky. Then a bit of darkness.

Night has clawed its way back into the world piece by piece, slicing from both ends. It feels like a python squeezing the life out of a rabbit, tightening bit by bit until it’s impossible to breathe as I try to force twice as many miles in half the light..

Today is the equinox, half day half night. Tomorrow the night grows longer. The day after, longer still.

There is no room to walk when I want to anymore. There is no endless sun. There is only the tightening window of light, twelve hours, squezing me, pressing on my chest, barely enough to outrace winter south. 

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One thought on “Europe N to S: Equinox (9/21/16)

  1. Wonderful photo!
    I like this explanation of the sense of expansion then compression with the direct realization of the changes in the sun’s pattern and how it affects you. Few of us spend the kind of time outdoors to continually see and feel the changes with which Nature is constantly entertaining us.

    Thanks you for cluing us in so beautifully.

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