Nearly a year ago, I had the outrageous privilege, thanks to an assignment from Outside magazine, to travel deep into the Arctic during the phenomenon of polar night. In Wiseman, Alaska (population: 12), residents say goodbye to the sun in late November and don’t see it again until January 9.
For years, I had been curious about the frigid darkness at the end of the earth. And last winter, I got the chance to experience it for myself—on the solstice no less.
I won’t spoil it for you (you can read the story, which came out in November, here) but to my surprise, I utterly fell in love with the spectacular sunless Arctic, with its long dawns and dusks that sprawl luxuriously over many hours. Everything seemed more magical and mysterious in the precious gloaming. Even the moon sailed in unfamiliar arcs across the sky.
The memories, which float through my mind frequently, even a year later, are like talismans, reminding me of how lucky I am to be alive on a planet of such superfluous magnificence. Here’s a link to the story in Outside.