Katrina Stonoff

The Blue Light of Winter

I was chatting with a friend on Facebook today about our move to Alaska, and she asked if it really is dark all the time.

That question isn’t as easy to answer as you think it should be. Yes, the hours of sunlight at this time of year are few. The sun rose today at 10:22 a.m. and will set at 2:59 p.m.

But those facts don’t tell the full story.

For one thing, sunrise and sunset last forever! This time of year, the sun rises in the south and sets in the south, which basically means that it hangs on the horizon for a long time. Those beautiful pinks and salmons stick around for over an hour in the morning, and the flaming oranges and fiery reds light up the evening for even longer.

And it isn’t actually dark. Not really. There’s a lovely blue light that is magical.

The blue light, unfortunately, is difficult to photograph, and my good camera hasn’t been unpacked yet. So … please overlook the low quality of my photo.


I took this picture at 9:30 a.m. today, an hour before sunrise. There was no hint of the sun, which would rise in an hour.

See the blue light? That blue glow that doesn’t really emanate from anywhere touches everything with … well, grace.

There’s a wonderful poem (which I cannot find or identify) that describes the winter solstice as the entire world holding its collective breath with joyful anticipation of light’s return.

That’s how the blue light feels to me: pregnant with potential.

Surrounded by magic like this, I can do anything.

Categories: Alaska