At 11:48pm on December 21st this year, it will officially be winter above the equator this year, the winter solstice. I find it preposterous that such great lengths would be taken to get the precise minute winter starts. I doubt even weathermen (okay, weather people) care about when, exactly to the minute, winter started, just twelve minutes before midnight. I would think they’d be sleeping, partying, watching a good movie, or reading. Surely they wouldn’t be sitting looking at a clock waiting for the precise minute of the beginning of winter. Why not just round up or down and be done with it. This year, I would say winter starts on December 22nd.
Those who live closer to the equator are probably reveling in the mild temperatures that will eventually give way to blistering heat later on next year. (Those south of the equator are feeling that fever right now.) Those of us further north are experiencing a climate making the days dreary. These are the days when the number of daylight hours are the least.
Depending on your general attitude toward life and your ability to adapt to changes in your surrounding, this time of year can be a psychological tussle. It isn’t so much the cold and damp that plays havoc with some during these bleak cloudy days of the season. It’s the scarcity of utter light. I know that with me it isn’t the lack of sun really. It’s the number of hours of utter darkness that I find myself battling with.
Now that I read these words though, I can’t deny that the increased murkiness of each day does feel oppressive, sometimes to the point of being suffocating. On those days when the sun peeks out, I have to admit, my spirits improve.
Here’s a question for you: Are the winter festivals (even the ones not celebrated anymore) a way the human population decides to ward off all the darkness that comes with winter?
I tried doing a search for this information. If there is any, it’s buried in the crevices of articles loosely related, and therefore, are wearisome to find. Sorry, but as interesting as I obviously find this to be, I don’t have the patience to go digging for the right word or phrase that’s going to get the ball rolling in the quest for the information.
Sometimes I go through episodes of depression. It’s not something to get concerned about, at least so far. It’s just part of the inability I’ve had since my late teenage years. It’s a purely physical affliction of my brain.
During these months of endless shade, this nasty annoyance rears it ugly head more often. Although I can’t actually get rid of the melancholy, I can dilute it. I turn the lights on in the house during the so-called daylight hours. The torch lamp is especially good for this because I can brighten a large room with only one. (Good thing too because I only have the one.) The light is pouring out from a high angle creating almost a natural light effect.
I will sit at a window on the south side of my home when the blues get too bad, and gaze out the window where the natural light is stronger. When the sun is out, this becomes extremely helpful.
The winter months are necessary for much of nature. Sure, around the equator this doesn’t seem to be so. The foliage is of the variety that doesn’t need a time of rest, a time of hibernation. Keeping this in mind, my tolerance of the lightless effect of this season is heightened.
Do you handle the darkness of winter well?
“We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.” — Cesar Chavez