“Winter has the first kiss and the last laugh.”
The Future of Ice, A Journey into Cold by Gretel Ehrlich
Such truth this line holds! I have some affection for winter and always look for January to be a personal hibernation time. This year death complicated my retreat month for the second year in a row. Okay, I just went with it. While others trumpeted the joys of warm, spring-like days at the end of January, I tried not to be sour about the unseasonal days. I got as much sun as possible, but I knew it was a trick and a will-be-harmful trick to my body.
January cold and snow I can do and the darkness I can deal with for a while. But by late February or March, I begin to crumble. This year will probably be worse as my whole body seems like it is developing a form of jet lag due to the odd weather patterns. It is hard to believe what S.A.D. does to people. It is called Seasonal Affect Disorder, but I think it should be labeled a Disease because the lack of good sun rays and too many truly dark days makes people sick! If you have never had this disease, you don’t know how it feels. It is not too strong a statement to say you “hurt” inside; it isn’t just feeling blue.
Today I read a line attributed to a Buddha, “Be your own lamp…” Ah, if it were only that easy. I try hard to be my own lamp, but as I age it gets harder to do. Besides, my own lamp has little to do with the actual length and strength of the sun’s yellow rays. With S.A.D. you stockpile things in autumn for winter. I did well on that one in the fall. I managed to not fill up the whole house with food and paper goods. Of course, the house was in construction status and I had things stored already in places like under the couch, on the deck, and in the bathtub…no joke. Another thing is craving carbs. I failed on this one miserably. Of course, Christmas makes that harder, but the result is I feel like a tightly aired soccer ball free floating down a spring freshet!
Yesterday I put away the rest of the snowmen and holly branches. I knew better than to make things look like spring as it is a long way away…over 40 days. But I put an apple blossom wreath where I could see it while in the kitchen and set out a rabbit or two. I will do my best while in this winter season. But now, my wick is low and I had better go turn it up so I can be my own lamp today! A good book should help, don’t you think?
Welcome to February!