Ben Lowry: A sunny autumn day in Co Down banishes some of my equinox gloom
We have now entered what I consider to be the gloomiest period of the year — after the autumnal equinox and before the winter solstice.
Not only are the days now going to be shorter than the nights for the next six months, the days are going to be getting even shorter until December 21.
I find such conditions particularly challenging in Northern Ireland, where we get much less winter daylight than most of Europe, because we are so far north — and indeed than most of North America.
The most southerly point of NI, which is almost 55 degrees latitude, is well north of the most northerly part of the lower (ie non Alaska) 48 mainland United States, which is a small section just north of the ‘49th (latitude) parallel’.
And yet, and yet. I find the darkness bothers me less I age because time moves so quickly. Yes the short days are bleak but in no time it will be late December and the consolation of knowing the evenings are drawing out again.
This week I was not working on Tuesday, just before the solstice, and visited Crawfordbsburn country park with a relative, as pictured right. It was such a perfect sunny, mild, still day as to be a fine antidote to the melancholy of the equinox.
• Ben Lowry (@Benlowry2) is News Letter acting editor
Other articles by Ben Lowry below, and beneath that information on how to subscribe to the News Letter:
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• Ben Lowry Aug 2: Three points to keep in mind when arguing against the NI Protocol
• Ben Lowry July 31: The last NI housing boom was disaster, and we need to beware a repeat
• Ben Lowry July 24: Hot weather ought to be welcome in NI but this is extreme
• Ben Lowry July 17: UK has tipped into an amnesty after a long approach to IRA that lacked bite
• Ben Lowry July 15: We should be honest as to how we have arrived at a Troubles amnesty
• Ben Lowry July 10: We will find soon if UK is for once going to criticise Ireland
• Ben Lowry July 10: I once always wanted England to lose, now I want them to win
• Ben Lowry July 3: The mild DUP response to the protocol will cause Boris little concern
• Ben Lowry June 26: Neither Dublin nor IRA have been put under any pressure on legacy
• Ben Lowry June 26: A slight sense of sadness as the days again begin to shorten
• Ben Lowry June 19: Somehow the appeasement of Sinn Fein got worse
• Ben Lowry May 22: Instead of ‘moving on’ from IRA funeral, we still need proper answers
• Ben Lowry May 22: If Joel Keys, 19, wants to help unionism he should get a law degree
• Ben Lowry May 15: Edwin Poots and Doug Beattie will offer two distinct shades of unionism
• Ben Lowry May 8: Formal UK ideas for an amnesty are almost exactly 20 years old
• Ben Lowry May 8: Let us hope that the brilliant Eoghan Harris keeps on writing
• Ben Lowry May 1: Unionism can’t just be about managing long-term defeat
• Ben Lowry April 17: DUP still has to choose between managing this disaster or total rejection of it
• Ben Lowry April 10: His enduring marriage to the Queen was key to our understanding of Prince Philip
• Ben Lowry Mar 20: We have made it through the worst of the dark, dreaded winter lockdown
• Ben Lowry Mar 20: MLAs lost control of abortion by rejecting modest law reform
• Ben Lowry Mar 13: Scotland tunnel isn’t fantasy, but something kids of today might see
• Ben Lowry Mar 6: The cost of victims’ pension has ballooned without explanation as to why
• Ben Lowry Feb 20: We still lack answers as to why IRA funeral got special treatment at Roselawn
• Ben Lowry Feb 13: Peter Robinson has long experience of what is and is not politically feasible
• Ben Lowry Jan 30: At last, clear reason for UK and unionists to stop being weak towards Ireland/EU
• Ben Lowry Jan 16: The Irish Sea border was imposed because UK knew unionists would take it
• Ben Lowry in 2020: Last night unionists celebrated a move towards Irish unity
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