The equinox, and the horror of the shortening days

The autumn sun rises over the north sea. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The autumn sun rises over the north sea. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Oh no it’s the autumn equinox.

That gloomy point in the calendar where the amount of darkness in any one 24-hour period begins to outweigh the amount of daylight.

And it gets worse and worse and worse. I find November perhaps the most traumatic time of the year – short, dark days, that are getting ever darker. A deeply grey day in late November, framed by black at either end, is a thing of bleakness and horror.

Christmas provides some light relief from the gloom but only some – its increasingly early arrival is commercially driven and has me battling an inner Scrooge.

Currently I am in denial in Spain, where the sun still shines to such an extent that it is easy to forget the now preponderance of darkness over daylight.

If I was independently wealthy, this would be the point in the year when I would move to the southern hemisphere for a second spring.

But that of course would just be running away from the reality of hurtling time.

Hurtling time has its benefits. In what seems like no time at all it will be January, and the days will be brightening, and light and hope will be back ...

• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

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