Last night I dreamed that I was laying on a beach, under a brilliant sun. I was warm and happy and completely relaxed, staring up at a pale blue sky. In reality, I had seen the sky twice in since I got here. Two times in 6 weeks. It’s a dreary overcast constantly. This has been harder to handle than the 6 hour days or the cold and snow. I am used to early darkness and bitterly cold temperatures – I am from Wisconsin, after all. But at home, we would have sunny days quite often – these would be the coldest days, but at least they were bright. I never realized that this was important to me, to see the sky.

When I woke from my dream, through my curtain I could see a shadow on the building next door. A shadow meant…. The sun! The sun was out!! I jumped up into my windowsill and stood there for a moment to convince myself that I wasn’t imagining things. It took me about 5 minutes to get dressed and get out the door with my camera. Last time the sun was out, I missed it by dillydallying inside, but I wasn’t about to be late again.

Just like at home, this clear day brought much colder temperatures than we had seen with the cloudy ceiling. Despite my frozen hands, (ungloved – I know, but I am stubborn when it comes to handwear, I have naked hands in the US too) I took pictures of the Hermatige and the square, the frozen Neva and random street, canal, and snow shots. Today was quite windy, so the supposedly 25 degree weather felt much more like 5 or 10 degrees. The sun was very low in the sky – to be expected in late December when you are at such a high latitude – so I had lots of long shadows to work with. When I found a place far enough away from buildings that the sun could finally hit my face, I noticed that although it didn’t carry any heat, my mood and energy level were lifted.dsc_0145


Seeing that burning ball of gas was good for my eyes and for my soul.  Now I just need to figure out why ‘they’ would turn our heat off on the coldest day of the season yet….