Tag Archive 'seasonal affective disorder'

Nov 26 2021

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Winter Begins

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Snow is falling right now. Not the first time this year. But it’s accumulating this time and will continue to accumulate through the night. I’ll probably be shoveling it tomorrow morning. So it’s safe to say that winter has begun. The way I see things, winter began this afternoon.

The time changed a couple weeks ago so today the sun sets a quarter past 4 here in northern Vermont. For a light-sensitive guy like me, that’s harder to take than the steadily dropping temperatures this time of year. But I’ve braced myself for it. The main thing is to stay busy. That’s what I’ve learned through the years. It’s not a good idea to be idle when the long darkness sets in.

It seems almost sacrilegious to live in Vermont and not be a big fan of snow, but I live here for the joys of the other three seasons. In winter, while the skiers are hitting the slopes, I stay indoors for the most part. I do a lot of reading and writing this time of year and get outdoors as needed to keep from going stir crazy. This arrangement works well for me for the most part. But the month between now and the Winter Solstice is tough, I must admit.

Every day is a good day, and all weather is fine by me so long as it’s not life-threatening. I like the variety. I wouldn’t be happy living a thousand miles south of here. This time of year, I remind myself of this on a regular basis. But I’m always a little melancholy when winter begins. I’m sure I’m not alone in this regard.

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Dec 05 2016

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Snowy Illumination

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snowy-walk-1For days a dismal grey light prevailed as the above-freezing temps slowly melted off Thanksgiving snow. Then this morning we awoke to it: a fresh coat of the white stuff brightening the world. And just in a nick of time for yours truly, sinking into a funk as the days grow shorter and the nights seem to go on forever.

Midday, after doing necessary work and running a few errands, I put on my boots and went for a walk. I kicked up light powder with each step. My dog Matika ran ahead, happy to be out of the house for a change. I slogged down the driveway, along the freshly plowed road, then slipped into the woods.

Snow clung to the branches. Snow kept falling. Snow piled up underfoot, everywhere, but I didn’t mind it. Much better than all that mud brown and sky grey. A winter wonderland? Not how I see the world but, like Matika, I was happy to be out of the house all the same.

Reaching another road, unplowed, I gravitated to the powder to keep from slipping in the packed, icy track of some car that had passed this way. I pulled my hat down around my ears as we turned a corner to face a bitter wind blowing steadily from the west. My eyes teared up. Still better than staying indoors. Plenty of time to thaw out later.

Back into the woods again, closer to home, I suddenly realized how good it felt to be outdoors, moving, and not altogether comfortable.  Hmm…  Explain that to those who have never found the sweetness in a chunk of stale bread, or to those who have never willingly done anything hard.

Note to self: do this more often, only next time head for the hills. Take a real break from the work… or suffer the consequences.

 

 

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