(originally posted 7/2/2012)
As I’ve never lived north of 42.19 degrees north latitude I must admit that some of this is speculation but it stands to reason that in arctic areas that spend weeks at a time in total darkness that there must be at least two mornings a year where sunrise and sunset are almost simultaneous. Approaching the day where the sun doesn’t rise at all there must have been the day before that the sun only peeked over the horizon for a few moments. Maybe even just an orange or purple glow. I don’t know, but that seems to make sense. I can’t help but picture a single shaft of light breaking over the horizon and then retreating just as quickly.
That must be an amazing moment. So much of our lives are tied up in sunrises and sunsets to see both at the same time would be a powerful metaphor for something that I can’t quite put my finger on. You would think I would have figured it out before I started typing but what can you do? Maybe you have to figure some things out on your own.
Next time you’re not sure what to do with your day consider the Mayfly. For the Ephemeridae a single day is its entire lifespan. It hatches. It lives one day. It dies. Now imagine yourself as that Mayfly. You have to hatch, get acquainted with your environment, breed, and reach some sort of insect self-actualization all in one afternoon. Keep in mind it also has a host of predators trying to shorten its existence even more. It doesn’t have the option to stay hidden in its larval state because gases build up between the Nymphal Shuck (outer shell) and its body and this buoyancy forces the Mayfly to the surface, out into the world, whether it likes it or not. (Note, this would be another golden opportunity to insert a metaphor of your own choosing to make this story that much more moving). The process of aquatic insects rising towards the surface is called Emergence (that has to help you with your metaphor. Come on, I can’t do all the work).
It’s a shame that this Emergence takes place during the spring and summer months as I can’t imagine a more poignant scene then an Alaskan Mayfly watching one of these sunrisesets.