Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Night-Owl's Views On Sunshine

I woke up today when my b.c. alarm went off at noon, but couldn't quite scrape myself off the mattress for another half an hour -- in which to put on a bikini and go lay on a towel in the yard, which you know is so very different. That's tanning. And since Alaska gets about 12 sunny days during our 2 months of summer, and those seem to mostly happen during business hours, you gotta carpe that diem. So I dragged my night-owl ass out into the sun while it was still around, to do something that I -- as a born and raised island girl -- never thought I'd ever do. SUNBATHE.

Thinking: "What have I become???"

I've been laying out on our lawn so often, the grass is starting to pale in my basking area because I'm intercepting so much of its sunlight. As I lounged out there today, I stared lazily up at the trees and watched the sunlight shine off the leaves in the height of the day's heat. I reflected on the way each leaf glinted, the sun bouncing so brilliantly off each tiny facet in the canopy. It's a harder kind of light, the full force of the sun's light at high noon -- my favorite is the later light when the afternoon ripens, but before it declines into dusk. The light has a syrupy golden quality, and saturates the leaves; a positive sponge of photosynthetic light.

I've already shared my little linguistic invention heliotransfolium; well, as the sun reclines closer to the horizon, every leaf becomes radiant with a heavier golden glow, the maximum of example of the term. But in the heat of the day, when the sun is high, what I saw would have to be called helioepifolium -- sun on leaves, as opposed to through.

Helioepi(c)folium - every tree a jewel with a thousand sparkling facets

Mornings are terribly unpleasant for me, and I find the cold light of the morning sun unwelcoming. I like to join the day after it's been well-broken in by earlier risers. (I'm not even people at work until it's almost noon. But I've got them pretty well fooled with the heels & earrings and whatnot.) The blazing hard light of high noon has its perks, including its tanning power -- but give me that ripe honeyed light of late afternoon every time. Maybe this night owl is becoming crepuscular?


  1. It's so funny how different everyone is! If I DON'T get up in the early hours of the morning (I'm talking 5 or 6) then my day is just shot! I'm so much more productive when my day starts early. I wish it wasn't so but that's just how I operate I guess?

  2. I totally dig it! I know many a morning person who has told me that if I just get in the habit of waking up early, I'll be a morning person. For years, then various months for one reason or another I would have to get up at terrible dawn hours, and I was never happy to look someone in the eye until after noon.