The darkness is here – so are the lights

AF Building at Lund University

It is 3.30 pm in the afternoon. It has been a long day of academic work both in class and at the library. I am pacing to my corridor for my late lunch. It dawns on me that it is getting dark and I start wondering if it is lunch that I should be thinking about or supper in this case. The day is still young and I begin to appreciate that it will actually be darker in the following 30 minutes or so. This can be a little scary if one is experiencing day darkness for the first time. 

My first brush with darkness at noon was during my Advanced level studies literature lesson class in a small rural school in Western Uganda. The novel “Darkness at Noon” by Arthur Koestler was such a teaser because I first interpreted the title in literal sense and could not imagine a situation where we were about to experience any form of darkness at noon when the sun is supposed to be at its brightest. Well, wonders never cease and I am now accustomed to darkness at noon!

My first experience with “darkness at noon” was about this time a year ago. I walked out of class at about 3 pm and could not believe what I was seeing. No one had talked to me about the early darkness and I was in shock. That was the first time I came face to face with the actual reality of darkness in the afternoon. This situation coupled with the cold weather and the academic demands at this time of the year can be a challenging experience for international students. The good thing however, is that when the lights are switched on it looks beautiful all around the University and the surrounding area. 

The hope of the next spring season a month or two away also adds a layer of hope to overcoming the darkness. The lights are everywhere and life is expected to go on as usual despite the early darkness. Shops and offices remain open, and so do the lecture rooms and libraries at Lund University. The darkness does not in any way prevent anyone from deciding to do what they want to do when they decide to do it. 

Don’t let the darkness ground you. Enjoy the lights and the beauty of Lund. Make the best of the darkness and light experience. The longest and darkest night of the year is December 21st and thereafter, we will be celebrating Christmas. 

Merry Christmas from Lund University. 

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