The sun is always low on the horizon when you live close to the polar circle. For a while I lived in a place called Gratangen, 50 km above Narvik. There we lived a couple hundred kilometers above the polar circle and therefore the sun would disappear during a big part of the winter. You would see some light shining over the edge of the world, but you would not feel any sunshine for a couple of months. Gratangen lies in a small fjord with mountains all around, somewhere in January we would see the first sunlight hitting the top of the mountains and slowly working its way down during the next weeks. It is strange if you never have lived in a place like that, the excitement when you see the sun for the first time again. We new when that was about to happen, when the sunlight finely hit the first houses on the sloop of the mountain, that was during work most of the time, but the first weekend we would drive to Narvik and on the way over we would see the sun. I really loved those dark winter days, many people ask about it: is it not depressive, how long are the winters? I never had problems with it, the summers where mush harder for me. In the summer I could still see the sun around midnight from my Living room, no darkness for many months, no waiting for the light to come back.
I made this little video on 30 June 2008 not so far from Narvik, Norway I like the winters but seeing the midnight sun is also special.
A Winter Eden
A winter garden in an alder swamp,
Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.
It lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead,
And last year’s berries shining scarlet red.
It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
Where he can stretch and hold his highest feat
On some wild apple tree’s young tender bark,
What well may prove the year’s high girdle mark.
So near to paradise all pairing ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud-inspecting. They presume
To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.
A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two o’clock.
An hour of winter day might seem too short
To make it worth life’s while to wake and sport.