The thing about living in a narrow rift-like valley surrounded by eleven and twelve thousand foot peaks is that the sun ends up playing a bit of peek-a-boo. A shaded darkness, caused by a lack of direct sunlight, can happen at odd times of day. Sometimes, there are stretches of time where there is no direct sunlight altogether.
I refer to this time as the long dark. A period from mid-autumn to midwinter. Roughly six weeks. During that six week span, our little portion of the valley is shrouded in shadow, which stretches down the Road, as Mount Pendleton blocks the sun's rays. Looking out the front windows, we can see dollops of golden daylight across the river, on the other side of the valley, up the Bull's head, and gracing the peak of my personal Kilimanjaro.
It happens slowly. A sensation that is felt more than seen. Just one day, the sun is gone. To those of us in the Pendleton's shadow, that's pretty well when winter begins.
Then, almost as imperceptibly as it happened, the light begins to creep back. We watch it across the river. Slowly, day by day, the sun's rays expand across the valley floor. Things get brighter. Then, one day, there is daylight along the Old Road, and the silhouette of trees and houses, illuminated by the sun itself stands out in such stark resolve against the crusted deep winter snow, it's almost shocking. Suddenly, our little pocket of nowhere, here beyond the edge of the world, does not seem quite so cold.
Once more, the daystar has returned, and I find myself smiling. It's a bit like that first kiss when you first fall in love. Space-time just stops and an infinite cosmos of possibilities opens up. Everything is perfect. Literally, everything is just a little brighter.