Thomas Doty – Storyteller

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The Longest Night of the Year

On December 21, the longest night of the year, my family is huddled in sleeping bags on the floor of our Ashland home. There is no electricity, little heat. Outside, stars sparkle over a town thrust into blackness. Near zero degrees, the passing night is measured in dripping faucets and flickering candles.

In restless dreams come stories of Crater Lake as a blue sheet of ice, and the Indian name for the winter solstice: "Split Both Ways," a time caught between memories of freezing nights and shorter, warmer nights to come.

On the longest night of the year, the sputtering sun is a long time rising.