Wednesday Vignette – on the right side of light

It took until mid-afternoon today for it to register that this was indeed the long awaited Winter Solstice – the day after which the light slowly starts its cyclical return. Rejoice, good people, rejoice! Here in western Oregon, we’ve now had rain for 22 days straight, and like most, this was a predominantly gray day. So the revelation that the end of darkness is near, sent a jolt of happiness through my bones – there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Sunset Highway tunnel

Heading home from work, I realized it was also a particularly hairy traffic day. Holy moly – Portland traffic SUCKS these days! On a no-traffic day, it takes me less than 20 minutes to drive the 11 miles to or from work. Getting home today took me an hour and a half.  It was ridiculous, but gave me plenty of time to reflect on things. For one thing – why fret about hanging christmas lights, when all you have to do is get in the car and drive somewhere. It’s an immersion experience, where you will no doubt feel like you’re part of a long, long strand of festive, red lights. Since I was at either a slow crawl or a near stand-still all the way home, and had my camera at arm’s length, I snapped a photo of us all, stuck in the tunnel on Highway 26. I suspect most of us made it home eventually, but how marvelously symbolic it was of the approaching Solstice! Inching forward little by little, eventually we reached the turning point – or in this case, the end of the long tunnel. It feels pretty good to be on the other side. 🙂

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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17 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – on the right side of light

  1. 22 days of rain! That’s epic even by British standards. Here’s hoping Christmas and New Year are a little less soggy for you 🙂

    • annamadeit says:

      Thank you – I hope so too. The good side of this is a nice, thick snow pack on the mountain. Last year, the resort at the lowest elevation (which happens to be my fave) barely opened for business. Right now, they are getting almost a foot of snow per day. I foresee a bit of skiing in my near future! 🙂 Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and New Year too!

  2. Cath says:

    It’s always a great feeling for me knowing that the sun is starting it’s move back to the big arc of summer. I track it against the horizon each week to measure progress in Winter. Now for those of us in the South it’s gradually going to move to shorter days, which I’m not going to track 🙂 until April when it will be hard to ignore.

  3. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening! says:

    Traffic snarl caused by blogging photographers in tunnels… 🙂 Beautiful shots, great analogy. It’s the time of year when seeing the day length increase by 2 minutes or so a day really matters the most.

    My vignette:

  4. Kris P says:

    An hour an a half to go 11 miles! That’s worse than LA traffic – and I didn’t think worse was possible. I did appreciate your tunnel shot, though, so I guess there’s a positive side to almost everything. Happy winter solstice and I hope you have a wonderful holiday break with family and friends! Here’s my vignette:

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, this city is experiencing some growing pains for sure. Too many people, not enough infrastructure. Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas break too, Kris! 🙂

  5. Alison says:

    Happy Winter Solstice! I am thrilled as well that the light is now returning. Your tunnel picture is a great metaphor. My Wednesday Vignette is here:

    • annamadeit says:

      Happy Solstice to you too, Alison! It’s my favorite celebration this time of year. Other than Thanksgiving, it’s the only one that doesn’t seem surreal…

  6. willow says:

    putting up strings of xmas lights is all that happens during ‘my season’. there is also one batch of cookies and a pot roast. and this year a frightening attempt to cut down a 75ft maple tree. be careful out in that Portland traffic.

  7. willow says:

    Be careful in that traffic as the latest storms arrive! The strings of red lights you captured are beautiful. Our garden was even more dangerous than rush hour traffic this week.

  8. Evan says:

    I’ve heard talk of a relatively dry January. I hope it comes true. I usually appreciate the rain, even enjoy it, but this stretch has me down. Other factors are involved, too, but I could really use some sun right now. The sun this morning was wonderful. Last week, it took me 20 minutes one day and almost 40 the next just to get up onto the St. Johns Bridge from Highway 30. It was ridiculous. This week, almost no traffic. I even made the light, so I didn’t even have to stop. I had to wonder if something was closed last week that was directing more traffic to the St. Johns Bridge. Happy Winter Solstice! I’m so glad the days are getting longer now!

    My vignette:

    • annamadeit says:

      Ugh – traffic can be so maddening… I know two weeks ago, downtown was flooded, but I don’t know of any closures last week. I’d say it is a total crapshoot – near impossible to predict. The sun was lovely today, wasn’t it? Until the rains started up again…

  9. hb says:

    I’m with you–seems a major holiday is like pouring hot water on an ant’s nest. Crazy activity, too crazy. Hopefully peace and quiet on the other side of the tunnel. My post inadvertently was about the same thing. Happy Solstice, or Festivus, if you prefer. ;^)

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