Bring more sunshine into your house: part 1

Apr 17, 2021

Lets be frank: a sunshine-less house is just depressing. I've lived for two winters in a house in the middle of the forest. It was niched along a valley and had a big hill in front. That wasn't a problem in the autumn when we arrived, as the hill was far away enough that the sun was passing right above it. But by the time December came, the sun started disappearing sooner and sooner behind the hill. "One day, S said, we shall go on that hill and scrape the top of it off!" We were a sad bunch, all of us, huddled around the stove, heating ourselves up in this darkness of the winter afternoon that was our alone. Because the rest of the houses, while few, were all either to the left of the hill, or to the right, or above it. So the darkness was ours and ours alone.

The big hill was just high enough and close enough for the winter sun to hide behind it for two months, starting from about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. This meant that our stone house, which was supposed to soak up the afternoon heat and give it back to us gradually throughout the night, keeping us warm, well, didn't. We were chasing the sun all mornings, and longing for it all afternoons. One day I was contemplating the warm rays of sun disappearing from sight and leaving me cold and lonely and swore I shall never have another human being endure such a trauma!

So here I am, evangelist of the January sunshine, preaching those who will listen about the countless ways (well, actually, six) in which we can ensure that our bones will be well lit in the cold months.