The 48th Parallel

Living on the 48th parallel has some good attributes. You experience four seasons. However winter on the West coast involves more rain, the Midwest and East coast receives more snow. I believe it is one of the most beautiful stretches of the United States.

The 45th Parallel is a line which designates the longitudinal halfway point between the earth’s equator and the North Pole. So those living on the 48th are just that much closer to the frosty tip of our planet.

One other attribute of living north of the 45th are the long days of sunlight during the summer months; sun rises around 5am and sets around 9:30-10. By Independence Day, July 4th it will not get dark until 11:30. This can make staying up for a firework show like staying up for New Years! Don’t get me wrong, normally I love sunlight. The other day, however, I was not liking it in any way what so ever.

Going to bed at 8:00p.m. is a new goal of mine. It allows me to get a good night sleep and rise up early to write in the morning, my most productive time of the day. Last night, I lay on my back looking up at my bedroom skylight. I was ready for bed, but sunshine was still streaming through the skylight, seemingly, directly into my eyes. Wondering how fashionable it would be to put tin foil over a skylight, I started to assemble my blankets into a teepee-like shape around my face to help shield the light.

View from my deck in the afternoon

As I fussed over the construction of my “blanket shade” I remembered there was a time when I had wished for a skylight in my bedroom, and now I have one. My mind kept up this train of thought and like checking off a grocery wish list I started to remember “things” I wanted that I now have. As I went down the list I realized there was a catch with each one; a positive and a negative. Always wanted a deep soaking tub, have one, but it is dark purple. Always wanted a grey slate floor, have one but it’s only in the bathroom, always wanted to live in the San Juan Islands, I’m here but the small town politics and water issues are equal to the island’s beauty, (incredible!), always wanted to work outside, I do now at a fantastic place, but it’s seasonal.

Examining the yin and yang of each wish didn’t cause a pity party, but a moment of reflection. It was interesting to see HOW something I desired materialized, the ITEMS wished for and WHY. With this in mind I’ve come up with a new wish list; a little experiment if you will: a wish for my career, health, family, friends, and the world. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. Number one on my list: shades for the skylights.

Sunset from the deck.
Good night all!

Published by

Shannon Laws

Like my writing? Want to hear me read my poetry? Please visit and download some today. Only $1.00 a poem! Shannon Laws is a Pacific Northwest poet, voice-over talent, and podcast producer. She is the author of four poetry books, the most recent “Fallen” published by Independent Writer’s Studio Press. Shannon has received two Mayor’s Arts Awards and the Community Champion Award for promoting local artists and encouraging peace and understanding through community poetry events. She makes her home in Bellingham, Washington, USA.

2 thoughts on “The 48th Parallel”

  1. It's normal to desire new things, and changes, that we think can provide comfort to our life. In planning, you must consider the pros and cons, and prepare for the latter. When you installed a skylight, you should've thought of including shade or cover for it. Anyway, it's never too late to have one. I hope that by now, you already have installed a cover for your skylights. 🙂


  2. Thank you for your comment Joann. This home was a rental, however our landlords were so accommodating I am sure they would of allowed us to install a shade. I no longer live on the island; the recession flushed many towards larger cities on the mainland. IF I ever have the opportunity to own a home again, AND it has space for a skylight, I'll know exactly what I want.
    ~thanks for visiting Madrona Grove 🙂


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