This time of the year, I wake every morning around five as my bedroom bathes in early morning light. For a couple of minutes I feel so totally alive, sunlight dancing through the uncovered windows, birdsong in the trees just outside. A couple of heartbeats of absolute contentment, a wordless prayer of gratitude and then I sink back into sleep.
Some people hate having their sleep disturbed by light. Winter or summer, they sleep behind thick drapes – anything to shut out every disturbing glimmer. I panic if my bedroom is totally dark. And living in a country that for so many months of the year is starved for sun, no way am I going to shut the returning light out.
Once, when my children were much younger than they are today, one of them began to cry while watching TV. Huge sobs, wails almost, and I galloped towards the sound imagining spraying blood. Not so; the child seemed unhurt, despite the tears. Two wet eyes turned my way.
“The sun is going to go out!” my child said.
“Not yet,” I said, trying very hard not to smile.
“But one day it will,” my darling baby wailed. “And we’ll all die – we’ll freeze to death in an instant.”
“We won’t,” I said. “We won’t even be around.”
After a couple of minutes I’d succeeded in calming my child, and later that evening I was drinking a cup of tea when my husband came home.
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
I shrugged. “It’s silly,” I muttered.
“What?” He sat down opposite.
“It was just something on TV,” I said. I sipped at my tea. “The sun will go out.”
“And?” he said. I could see he was having problems keeping a straight face.
“Well, I don’t like it,” I said, “you know, one day all this will be gone – the whole planet converted into a spinning globe of ice.”
“But not in the foreseeable future,” he said.
I chose not to reply. After all, we don’t really know, do we? Something might happen that snuffs the sun out just like that, and then what?
Which is why I never cover my windows. Let there be light – please let there be light for a long, long time yet!