Our flat occupies the full width of a long two storied building which lies directly north-south. Because of that the windows of our home face east and west. The front door faces west and the back door faces east. Brickebacken is on the southern edge of Örebro. The winter sun makes its low arc not far above the southern horizon, so the winter sun, when it appears from behind the clouds, is invisible from our windows, though its gentle white-orange light shines down front and back of the house, across the gardens and through the trees. The walls on the northern and southern side of our flat are common walls with the next apartment on each side.
I was on the phone this morning when Hanna came to ask if we couldn’t go outside and play some football. Its sunny, she said. I chatted on for awhile and her voice became more urgent: quick, daddy, we must go out before the sun disappears.
Such is life in the chilly north. The sun, when it comes, must be celebrated and enjoyed, for who knows when it will recede again behind the blanket of grey that so often seem to cover our world. The days are short too: it is dark by 3.30 and the light will not return until 8 in the morning. So it is a narrow window of opportunity. The days are still shortening, but come Christmas they will begin to grow longer again. Even then there will be many months of cold to look forward to.