September 29th, 2012



The early arrival of nightfall has left me somewhat morose this evening. It's not just the fact that night fell so early that has made me morose— it's the knowledge that it's going to keep falling earlier and earlier for the next three months. This is one thing about autumn that I never anticipate with pleasure. The cool days I welcome, but the nights often get too cold. The fall colors are enjoyable, but they can't be seen in darkness. Being able to use the oven without fear of overheating the house is a delight, but eating dinner after the sun goes down leaves no time for an after-dinner twilight walk.

I felt differently about the long nights when I lived in a city with its bright lights and beckoning activity, but in this backwater the brightest lights are the computer monitor and the television screen, and I spend too much time sitting in front of those already. Now I will spend even more. The long nights, in short, are a pain for the butt. But then, if nights didn't get longer and longer all autumn, they wouldn't be able to get shorter and shorter all winter, and the nights getting shorter is one of the very few things I like about winter.

Besides, I wouldn't want to deprive the kangaroos of their spring and summer. That would just be churlish. I'll just live with the lengthening nights, and try to keep the whining about it to a minimum. It could be worse, after all. I could have been an Alaskan.