It’s June, nearly midsummer, the sun is high in the sky and it’s there for 24 hours a day – but the air is cold, and the trees are only just beginning to sprout a light, vivid, spring green. It doesn’t feel right.
It takes a while to accept that this day goes on for a couple of months. The adult comfort blanket of day and night is removed and each day is weirdly unstructured. The result is strangely exhilarating.
The sun moves around above us in a circle, and the long hours of light are mesmerising. Sometimes I feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights – it’s a shock – what to do next, what to do first? I might want to do any number of things at any time of the day and night, and, alarmingly, I can.
It might sound rather stressful, all those options and opportunities for activity – but no. When you can do something at any time you find you can always do it later. These are perfect conditions for enjoying moments, or hours, of pure inactivity.
Sometimes the inactivity can be forced on you. Travelling along some parts of the trails in the mountains now you would find yourself ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’. The lakes are no longer ice but they are not yet water, so crossing them on foot or by boat is impossible – it’s a no-go area. Hikers are very disappointed to find they can’t walk from A to B as they’d planned. They are advised by local tourist and hiking organisations just to wander where they can, on circular day trips. It’s a lesson, surely.