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Last month, I lived in a place with such clear skies that the sun shines almost 300 days each year. Now I live in a place where the sun shines less than 90 days a year.

Yesterday I talked with my brother and my father and they both asked whether I missed the sun. The question struck me as a little odd, but I couldn’t understand why it did.

Last night as my wife and I were discussing our impressions of our new home, she helped me understand why.

The clouds that drop rain here are not the thick, dark rainclouds that I am used to from other places I’ve lived. They’re light. Right now, for example, it’s overcast and raining, but very bright. I don’t have a tool to measure the luminosity, but it’s bright enough that I wouldn’t be surprised to see anyone in sunglasses. The weather has normally been like that over the past week and a half: rainy and bright.

Last night as I walked home from work, the sky was overcast, but bright enough to enjoy the meadows and forests until almost ten o’clock. And it gets bright hours before I rise each morning.

So in a way, it is quite sunny here. It’s just a dimmer, wetter, less direct sort of sunshine.

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