I took the southern California seasons and sun for granted. Of course there was a rhythm to the year, - some parts of the year had longer days, and other parts had shorter days. But the rhythm was quiet and gentle.
Here in northern Germany, the seasonal changes are brash. Bold. Summer nights can go on and on until 10:30 pm, while the dark winter mornings can remain firmly in place until 8:30-9 am.
Instead of fearing the darkness, I'm learning to embrace it. It can be quite a cozy place - stuffed up with sweaters and scarves, blankets and candles, and furry slippers. But it isn't an easy place to be when trying to get oneself out of bed on those cool mornings.
So I've added a new tool to my "dealing with darkness" arsenal - tea. And more specifically, an electric tea kettle, for the bedroom. Though the kitchen is only steps away, nothing feels more luxurious than waking up and being able to quickly get a hot mug of tea in my hands. I've fashioned us a veritable miniature tea aisle in our nightstand drawer, and I choose a tea based on whatever sounds good at the moment. Sometimes a soothing green tea, sometimes a vibrant chai. Then I can crawl back under the covers, sip my beverage, and daydream about those California beaches we left behind.