Surviving the Midnight Sun
“They’ve stolen the moon
The magic is gone
And there in its place
A black midnight sun
The darkness is frightening
And love is denied
They’ve stolen the moon
God only knows why
The stars have lost their daughter
The devil’s thieves have won
And there in her place
A black midnight sun”
– David Sylvian
I’m very sensitive to the sun. It energizes me and makes me productive! I spent my last two winters as a nomad in the southern hemisphere. From experience, I know that I get a little depressed and SAD in the winter, when the days are too short. And I just can’t be as productive in that state.
But the midnight sun is something else… First a spoiler alert - the midnight sun in Northern Norway in July is not just at midnight. It means sun 24 hours a day! One never-ending day! This is the view from my AirBNB… at 2:57AM!!!!
As I sat on a mountain top during a midnight hike and watched the sun, I noticed that between 10:47pm (on the left) and 12:00AM (right), the sun just moved sideways instead of up and down as I take for granted:
It’s like being high on caffeine all day. I’m restless. I’m energized. I’m productive. I’m ecstatic. Time stops to matter. Or even mean anything.
I’m usually a morning person, but what is morning if there is no night? I now usually stay up past midnight, but again, what does it matter?
Sleeping is hard. When it’s time to sleep, my body feels that restless energy. I can only sleep 6 hours per day. I tried to sleep when I was tired when I first came here, but the tiredness didn’t come. I can only sleep well after a nice long exhausting evening hike.
A tour guide told me that Norwegians tend to plan in the winter and get everything done during these two summer months of midnight sun. I can understand that.
It’s weird to be in a place that completely challenges the basic assumptions of your world view - that there is a day and there is a night. But after struggling with it for the first week here, I’m starting to love it. There is safety in the sun. I can be out at any time of day or night and others are out too. I can do anything. There is no time limit. There is no time.