A Polar Night Blog

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  • SANNA IN THE AFTERNOON

    SANNA IN THE AFTERNOON

    December 16th Day 21

    Rise time 1100 Scheduled bed time 0540

    After a refreshing run up the highway in the snow I suit up for a short lazy hike to the top of the Mt Saana steps. I have rebounded from my earlier agoraphobic inclinations with a reinvigorated love for being outside here. I still get weirdly scared of the dark at random but, very illogically, this doesn't seem to happen when I know other humans are awake regardless of how dark it is. I begin when there is still enough light to see most things in different shades of blue. I stop for an hour at the road-side and sketch what I can see of Pikku-Malla and the lake and the road.

    The street lights illuminate lopsided pyramids of falling snow in a soft warm glow. Its as if the snow is only falling there, though I can feel and hear that is not the case. The snow-flakes make soggy goose-bumps on my page as they melts from my body heat while I draw. A clunky beast of a snow plough rattles up the road like a lost sole.

    The snow gets heavier as I walk up the boarded track to the start of the stairs. I feel comforted by the freshness of other peoples foot-prints, but simultaneously pleased to be alone. Alone but not isolated, that's a nice space for me. I do, however gain a seething hatred for thin planks of board walk camouflaged by snow, because I often misstep and end knee deep in it, usually when my thoughts have wandered off and I'm particularly relaxed.

    When I get to begin my ascent I see a head lamp at the top making its way down. I cross paths with a familiar face, whose name I learn 'Heimo. I have seen and spoken with Heimo several times around Saana. He walks to the top nearly every day and runs it in the Summer. He is dressed light in a jogging suit and is not wearing gloves. I tell him I'm just going to the top of the stairs and he is perplexed by me not going to the mountain top. I say it's a bit dark and snowy, which he counters with “it's not very dark and it's barely snowing” we agree (in my mind) to disagree. We put the pieces together that I'm that weird girl who runs up the highway most days. He tells me I should play hockey with him in the new year and draws a picture of a hockey stick with a date in the snow. I tell him I leave on Monday. We say our goodbyes and suddenly the stairway looks very dark.

    When I get to the top I can see the patches of light between the Station and the Norwegian Border. They are softened and blurred in the snow. I draw the lights and the way they greys change between mountain sides, sky and lake. Nothing has a defined edge aside from the part of the mountain I stand on. I finally shamble back 'home' retracing my own foot prints. The dark has settled in well. Tonight I cycle back into the darkest waking hours and won't see even the dusky sunlight again for another 66 hours.