I’m always a little sad when summer draws to a close. I’m just not that much into winter. It’s cold, the roads are often treacherous, it’s dark more hours than light, and light is a relative term when gray days are the best I get. Mostly, it’s cold—bone chilling, mind numbing, freezes the breath in your lungs cold.
Do you know what passes for fun around here in the winter? Waiting for the exact right temperature below zero to blow soap bubbles and watch them freeze. If it’s not cold enough they just do their normal thing. If it’s too cold, they freeze and shatter almost instantaneously. It’s sort of like trying to stand an egg on end at the exact moment of the spring equinox. Good luck achieving either.
Don’t bother to tell me about wonderfully invigorating activities like skiing, snowshoeing, mushing, snowmobiling, ice fishing . . . it’s still cold. Doing those things in the cold is not fun. Anybody who tells you it’s fun is evil and lying, because you know misery loves company.
I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I don’t think there has ever been a more apt acronym. SAD is what I have and sad is what I am for the duration of Wisconsin winter. Vitamin D and full spectrum light exposure helps, a little. I’m still sad in winter.
My toes are sad they cannot expose their perfect pedicure in a rocking pair of sandals, or even peek out of a pair of peek-toe pumps.
My skin crawls at the feel of fabric covering every inch again. I spend weeks of transition pulling on jeans only to peel them off again. Perplexed and perturbed, I stand there in my grannie panties (who needs a thong up your ass when your skimpy wardrobe is relegated to storage) seriously debating the reality of living in my jammies for the next six months—or eight.
My ears are sad that they will not hear the lovely songbirds, the whisper-shimmy of leaves, the rumble of a thunderstorm and the pattering rain it brings, the hum of tires on bare pavement and the chorus of tree toads serenading the night outside my open window.
My nose is sad, missing the smell of cut grass, grill fires, and the scent of flowers and herbs growing in my gardens.
My tastebuds are sad, longing for a reunion with the flavor of fresh picked berries, corn on the cob, vine ripened tomatoes, peas and beans, or basil, thyme, sage and chives snipped from the herb bed just outside my door. Any of these shipped to the supermarket, out of season and from places afar taste like a big mouthful of nothing. Seriously, even cardboard has more flavor.
Don’t judge. You all know you’ve had a paper based product in your mouth at least once in your life, whether you ate a note you didn’t want to get caught passing or had the munchies so bad you neglected to peel all the cardboard away from the Twinkie before shoving it whole into your mouth. Whatever, I’m just telling you that even that pulp has more flavor than the winter produce we get in Wisconsin.
Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to escape to a warmer place for a few months, but I am not yet a full fledged snowbird.
I put this little visual together a few years ago. I watch it on the gray days. It helps me feel less sad—and less SAD, if you know what I mean.
I hope it lifts you into the light that shines within you.
Music Credit: Longtime Sun—Amrit Kirtan
Available on Sacred Circle from Spirit Voyage Record
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I’m blogging along with Effy Wild and her tribe for the whole month of September. Find out more here. This post is in response to a prompt for a give-away. I’m a writer—I give words. Here are some more of them, a different perspective of counting my blessing in the face of my SAD winters.
Making Peace With the Harbinger of Winter