I love it at this time of year when you can actually feel the days getting longer. A month ago, it was dark when I left work and now it's not even dark when I get home from work. It's a small milestone in a Minnesota winter, but one that's always given me a lot of comfort.
My senior year in college, I took a January Term class, or as St. Thomasians called it, J-Term. It was a 200-level American English class and was held Monday-Thursday from 8:00 A.M. to noon. It was kind of brutal. Heavy reading and writing and having it four days a week did not help at all. I would go to class until noon, then grab lunch back at my apartment and then go to my work study job from 1:00 - 5:00 P.M. When I would get home, I'd spend at least 5 hours working on my writing assignment and finishing up the reading. Good thing it was terrible outside.
I remember at the beginning of the term, when I would walk back from my work study job to my apartment, I felt so depressed. I still had mountains of work left to do and it was already dark. It felt like time was rushing by me. Close to the last day of the term, I remember leaving work and heading home in the sun. It felt so glorious that I walked around campus a little longer than necessary basking in that January sunset.
Every year in late December/early January when I'm thinking about how depressing it is that it's dark at 4:30 P.M., I'm reminded of this moment the moment in college when I walked in the January sun. I remember that every day we are gaining a little bit back. Everyday we walk in the light a little bit longer. Suddenly, the winter doesn't seem so long.