From a deep sleep, I was roused by a familiar ah-WOOOOOOO! coming from our dog yard.
The team (which is now 7 sled dogs and 1 puppy—a sled dog in training!) was calling for me — perhaps because they love me...
... more likely because I'm in charge of their breakfast.
I glanced at my phone: 7:16am. Out the window, there was no sun in sight... just a fuzzy twilight on the horizon, indicating a future sunrise.
I sighed and rubbed the sleep from my eyes — winter is on its way, and we're increasingly descending into darkness every day. In fact, each day in the Arctic we lose 12 minutes of daylight. As the sun rises later and later (and sets earlier and earlier), we get one step closer to Polar Night, the time of year when the sun doesn't rise above the horizon in the far north.
To put this into perspective:
People ask me all the time how I survive living above the arctic circle when the sun doesn’t show its face for weeks during the winter. We don't see the sun — we just get about four hours of eery blue twilight, during which time we make it a priority to get outside with the dogs! Certainly, there are challenges without sunlight for a bulk of late December/early January... but despite those, I appreciate the opportunity because I believe life is made more meaningful by contrast.
At Arctic Hive, nature offers extreme opportunities to disconnect from things we often take for granted (like the sun)— and in absence, we find beauty unrivaled anywhere in the world.
During Polar Night, if it’s clear, the northern lights seem brighter… and sometimes they’re still waving in the sky when we wake up in the morning. The Full Moon lights a path so bright, you don’t even need a headlamp. The New Moon engulfs us in darkness so black, we can’t even see our hands held in front of our face. There’s a certain serenity unlike anything I’ve experienced — and it’s in that extreme experience of polar opposites that I find access to nature’s wisdom, as I dive into my yoga practice (which includes the yoga of dog mushing!).