Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Let There Be Light

By Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

The days are shortening now, and on Sunday, here in Wisconsin, the time will change. Day light saving time. We’ll have a few more minutes of light in the morning. But by 4:30 in the afternoon, we will turn on our headlights if we are heading home from work, or if we work in our homes, we will flip the light switches.  4:30! Sigh. Darkness will descend.

Dark ages. Dark side of humanity. Dark moments, dark days, and dark shadows. It was a dark and stormy night. Well, we know where that story is going. We equate darkness with blindness, with evil, with death.

So is it any wonder that, as the days shorten, we have a serious sense of foreboding? Is it surprising that some of us experience SAD, apt acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder? I don’t know about you, but I love the light. My favorite time of day is just before dawn, waiting at the window with a cup of coffee, to greet the sun. Not only will the days grow shorter, the sun has changed its trajectory, hanging low rather than overhead. Most days, clouds will obscure the early sunset.

And I've had another problem. I can’t help turning off lights. If I’m not in the room, off it goes. If I am in the room, I only allow myself enough light to see by. It's ingrained. I’m sure this has something to do with my upbringing. Saving money. Waste not, want not.

But this year I've decided to pull out all the stops. Let there be light! And plenty of it. I'm going to overcome years of certain habits and I'm going to luxuriate in light. I don't have a fireplace, but if I did, I'd light it every single time the sun began to set.

Instead, I'm going to turn on those lights. Yes, every one of them, even the ones across the room. I
also ordered a bunch of flameless candles and a candle display thingee for the wall. It wasn't cheap. Yes, I did hesitate. But not for long. And I have a remote control to turn them on and off, and a timer, and I'm using them starting...well...yesterday when they arrived.

And you know what? I feel better already. In just one short day. I love the softness and warmth of the flickering lights as I settle in to do a little reading. Right this minute, I can't wait for late afternoon when I can turn them on again.

Treat yourself. With a new 3-way lamp. Or a new funky shade. With candles, whether flameless or the real thing. Put them in your bathroom, in your bedroom, in your living room. And most important - use them! Finally, I see the light!




15 comments:

Book Dragon said...

Our downstairs is a bit of a racetrack around the stairs and I really enjoy the light turned on in the other room.
I'm on a backwards schedule so while you're greeting the sun I'm saying good night. I don't have a problem leaving lights on :-)
You're candles sound delightful! I've got a fireplace that we don't use, wonder if I can rig up candle in it. . .

SueAnn said...

I never see the "gain in light....when I would take our son to school, it was dark at 7 AM ...! I like the "falling back" time....that extra hour makes me happy. I don't mind the dark at 5PM...for a few short months, it is restful, cozy, quiet. I am a candle person tho- and use them in all shapes and forms , more, during the Winter, and will use our oil lamps more too, for reading, or knitting.
Victorian Trading Company sells resin "logs", that hold tea lights, and I bought one, about 10 yrs. ago, for a fireplace we did not use- but you can load up that fireplace hearth with all sorts of candles-tea lights and pillar styles are best.....

Deb said...

Candles or...I saw a jumble of small clear holiday lights inside a fireplace and thought that was really beautiful.

Deb said...

You have the right attitude, SueAnn. The kind I'm hoping for.

Jeannie D. said...

I just may have to try the candle thing. It is the Scotch thing with me (always penny pinching) just cant help it, I am always turning off lights and not turning them on at all if I can still see. This time of year is so depressing to me. I love Spring and Summer with the warmth and the light and outdoors. But, sitting by candle light reading one of my mysteries does sound appealing.

Debra said...

I have an electric woodstove in my kitchen. Like this
http://www.mrpearl11.com/duraflame-electric-fireplace-heater-classic-black-stove.html
Soup bubbling in slow cooker, bread baking, knitting at hand. I like the winter.

Deb said...

Do yourself a favor and add some candle light. You won't regret it.

Deb said...

Love your stove. I like winter, too, except for the short days and long nights.

Rachelle21 said...

Depending on the type of lights you have, certain ones use more when turned on and off vs being left on. I would check and see what you have. Vitamin D makes a difference with SAD, we do not get enough sunlight.

vicki said...

You would be amazed how many people are lacking enough Vit D. I didn't know I was until I found out that two of my sisters were low. When I had mine checked it was 12. Oopss... I even spend lots of time outside so I wouldn't have thought I was low on Vit D but I think there is a genetic factor involved as well as being indoors/outdoors.

Deb said...

You are so right. I've heard we need more light than is available, even in summer. Well, I guess it depends where you live. Wisconsin? Not enough.

Deb said...

I take Vit D. Doc says it's important.

Debra said...

Have you looked into the SAD Therapy lamps? Here is an informative article.
http://gadgetboy.hubpages.com/hub/5-Amazing-SAD-Light-Therapy-Lamps-Reviews-and-Info

Deb said...

thanks for the link, Debra!

Aurian said...

I am very blind in the dark, unlike my boyfriend who sees perfectly. So I love lots and lots of light, summer and winter. I always put on all the lamps in the living room, and the one in the kitchen, and leave them on until I go to bed. I have collegues who don't turn on their room lamps at the office, they think it makes it even warmer in summer, which is nonsense. I just want light.
It is a gloomy day today, and I really want to put on the lamps. I will do so when I am finished with my backlog of emails and start reading on the couch.