This blue marble

– and yet it spins

Kaamos

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Kaamos is Finnish for “polar night”, the midwinter weeks or months when the sun does not rise above the horizon at all. Only about one quarter of Finland officially goes through gloomy kaamos weeks ever year, but all of Finland feel the lack of light and the long twilights in the morning and at night.

During kaamos, unless one lives very near the North (or South) Pole, there is enough daylight to go about daily activities: a never-ending blue twilight with deep shadows. Kaamos can be beautiful,too: in January and February, clear days roll through watercolor-washed skies of blues, yellows, oranges, and pinks, until the snow is colored a deep purple and finally sinks into the deep blue twilight again.

Copenhagen has a little over an hour more daylight than Helsinki, and I certainly feel the difference. Yet it is increasingly difficult to get up within the first half hour of my alarm clock. When there is so little color in the day, I crave color on my plate. While my digestion does not always agree with cold greens and salads in the winter, it helps to enjoy some of the last EU-produced colorful vegetables of the season.

(Copenhagen, Denmark; November 2020)

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