My next-door neighbor has a fluorescent light attached to the back wall of his garage. I can see the light from my first floor mudroom, where I am currently forced to sleep because of ongoing renovation in the rest of the house, and my second floor bedroom-converted-to-office/studio. The lamp is light-sensitive and triggers on when the sun goes down.
I've accepted that the harsh blue light from this fixture fills my tired eyes as I try to pass into Sleepworld each night, but I have never seen it illuminated during the day before. Until today.
A light misting rain is currently falling and helping to melt the residuals from a heavy snowfall just under one week ago. I like fallen snow and think that it helps set the stage for winter. If it's going to be cold, there may as well be snow on the ground. I find the rain moderately annoying. I was out in it earlier, using the dog's morning walk as an excuse to buy milk from the only corner store that is open at 8 a.m. Winter rain is no fun at all. My dog doesn't much like it either as evidenced by her hesitation to step out the door.
Under such rain, the sky is uniformly white with no discernable features, like a giant seamless soundstage for my neighborhood. I know the sun is up there somewhere, but the even blanket of low clouds doesn't allow for any clue to its whereabouts. I respond much better when I can see the sun.
In junior high, I worked as a caddy at a country club. I never held any resentment for the people who paid money to belong to the club, but I didn't really understand the desire to make someone carry your own golf clubs. I didn't offer up much in the way of club selection or helpful tactics. I just carried the bag and tended to course etiquette. It was also my job to help golfers retrieve their bags from the trunks of their cars. I did so one afternoon and was met with this question, "I suppose you want a tip."
"That's not necessary, sir."
"Well, I think I've got a tip for you. Never look directly into the sun."
He thought it was funny and I later slept with his wife.*
It was a good tip, though. And I think of it often, especially on overcast days. I like to have the option of looking directly into the sun, even if it's a terrible idea.
* Not true.