Hours of Daylight


Eastward Look cottage in Siasconset.


I used to live in Tom Nevers, at the eastern end of the island. The light breaks first in the village of Siasconset, one of the easternmost points in the United States. Depending on the time of year, Siasconset is the first place to be touched by the sun’s rays. Lubec, ME (which is the easternmost point in the continental US) is the other.

Early morning on the first day of the new millennium, I was wrapped in blankets with my sister and parents, standing by the lighthouse in ‘Sconset, waiting with dozens of other onlookers for the winter sun. The local astronomer was on the phone with the folks in Lubec. I imagined them standing there, further north, probably colder than I was.

The same lighthouse that watched over the rocky shoals now watched over us. It kept a steady rhythm, flashing every seven-and-a-half seconds.

On summer’s longest days, the day is ushered in around five in the morning. The hours of daylight are abundant. It is easy to wake up, the sun coaxing you out of bed and begging you to play.

In March of this year, I began running in earnest. Well, I began running. The earnestness may have come later. There was a lot of self doubt to slog through, in addition to bad shoes and uneven roads. I never quite experienced that dissociated high that I have heard others who run talk about. But after a number of months, running no longer became something I hated.

I bring up running because in early October, I ran a half marathon. It still seems like a dream. I was only able to run a handful of miles today, chasing the sun as it dipped below the horizon and was swallowed up by the sea. This Sunday, and the demise of Daylight Savings Time for another year, brings with it the start of our winter darkness.

The half was not easy. I was lucky to have a few friends to run with in the weeks leading up to the race, and one who flew up to run with me. For the last few miles, I ran (in the pouring rain) behind a woman whose shirt read “We don’t need machines…we are machines.” I was feeling a bit like the Tin Man instead of a well-oiled machine at that point, but I appreciated the thought.

The race is over; the pace has slowed. I still wake up with the sun, but we both rise much later these days.



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