Welcome Darkness!

By Anita Sanchez

It’s com­ing. It’s almost here. The end of Day­light Sav­ings, the time of darkness.

Already it’s start­ing. You’ve prob­a­bly noticed that days are short­er, sun­set com­ing just a minute or two soon­er each day. Where once you could sit in the yard or go for a stroll at the Arbore­tum for hours after din­ner, now it’s dusk right after dessert. Soon it will be even more extreme, the sun sink­ing low by three, set­ting not long after four. You dri­ve home in dark­ness. The night seems to last forever.

And you know what? I love it.

No, real­ly. I love this dark time of year. It’s the way things are sup­posed to work. Dark­ness is sup­posed to come to give us a rest from the light.

Dark­ness is nature’s way of telling us it’s time to slow down. Time to rest, time to sleep, time to heal. Dark evenings are for sit­ting and think­ing. Dark nights are for goof­ing around on Face­book, or binge-watch­ing Game of Thrones,” or read­ing War and Peace,” or what­ev­er floats your boat — all those guilty plea­sures that you can’t indulge on a beau­ti­ful June evening with the sum­mer sun still high in the sky. Not that you want to turn into a couch pota­to. But there’s an ancient, ances­tral instinct to hun­ker down in the dark­ness, walk more slow­ly, go more care­ful­ly. Give things more thought.

We need the dark­ness. We need a time for owls to hoot and coy­otes to howl and prowl.

With­out dark, we can’t see the stars, the moon, the mete­ors mak­ing bright scratch­es across the night sky. The autumn con­stel­la­tions are among the most beau­ti­ful and dra­mat­ic, as you know if you’ve ever stargazed from the top of Meet­ing House hill. In fall, look for Perseus reach­ing up to Androm­e­da, and soon the sev­en lit­tle sis­ters, the Pleaides, will rise. And when you spot, late on a chilly fall night, the three bright stars of Orion’s Belt, you know that win­ter is just around the corner.

It doesn’t last long, the dark. The bright lights of the hol­i­days will be on us all too soon, catch­ing us in the glare like deer in the head­lights. By the end of Decem­ber, the days start get­ting longer.

So enjoy the sooth­ing dark­ness. Yawn, curl up in your bur­row and dream of spring.

Ani­ta has sev­er­al new books com­ing out in 2022 and 2023. Be on the watch for these titles or vis­it her web­site at https://​ani​ta​sanchez​.com to place pre-orders.

Mon­key Busi­ness: The Bat­tle Over Evo­lu­tion in the Class­room (Houghton Mifflin/​Clarion Books)
Melt­down! Why Glac­i­ers Are Melt­ing and Why We Should Care
(Work­man Press)
Save the Whale Sharks!
(Philomel/​Penguin Ran­dom House)
Hel­lo, Pud­dle!
A non­fic­tion pic­ture book explor­ing a decep­tive­ly sim­ple but unex­pect­ed­ly cru­cial resource for wildlife: pud­dles! This lyri­cal, gor­geous­ly illus­trat­ed non­fic­tion pic­ture book is per­fect for young sci­ence learn­ers and nature lovers.


Fall 2022

Volume 40 , Number 3

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