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An end of SAD

The sun is shining, the snow is melting (for the nth time this season), and Winter's finish line is in sight! I know, I know - it's Canada: we could have a snowstorm in April. But it's been a long and dark few months. Especially for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I am one of the Seasonally Affected. I get tired. I get cranky. I crave the sweetest & starchiest foods. From November 1st on, I just want to hibernate until March Break under a cosy blanket in front of a fire. Close at hand is a stack of books and clutched in the other is a remote set to scroll through Netflix.

I get edgy. I get depressed. Small things bug me big time.

So what do I do?

I walk. I read. I eat what I want and enjoy it. I binge-watch tv shows with my family. I make time to see friends.

I set my light therapy lamp to "stun" and shine the hell out of my blues.

It seems to be working, because here I am on the other side; two months have passed on the shortest day of the year. I can see March Break on the horizon! It calls to me!

I still love every season. I'd get bored looking out my window and having one day look like the next. I love the anticipation of change, and I equally love the predictability of its cycle (Yes, I am aware our weather has become somewhat erratic lately. DON'T get me started on climate change)

...and so:

Dearest Mother Earth,

I’m writing you to say

thank you

for the Canadian seasons

(I know I don’t always seem grateful

but its mercurial moods keep me on my toes

and its cyclical psyche is a comfort).

Summers stretch out before us,

the possibilities endless:

Stand in the sand, dance in the surf

leap into a lake, then dive, eyes open wide

to stare back at freshwater fish.

Spread out on the grass as bees buzz lazily by

and look up at the clouds loitering in the sky

passing as slowly as a child’s summer.

Fall slips in unnoticed;

days shorten and cool despite the still-bright sun:

Pumpkins glow as brightly as the forested hills

and apples are as crisp as the leaves underfoot.

The trees turn, each leaf an explosion

of phoenix feathers, which flare and die.

Bare branches reach into grey sky

clutching at a promise of renewal.

Winter sneaks up to pounce

in a great leopard bounce: we wake one morning

to find sudden snow, glittery-crisp.

Strap on snowshoes and skis and sleds

to slide over the still-white hills,

The next day turns dull and grey,

perfect for hunkering down by a fire with

cosy kin, hot chocolate, woolly warmth.

Spring slithers across the soil

freeing streams and thawing dark earth.

Green things poke up, eyeing the skies;

rain splatters their backs as they

yawn and stretch their limbs so fast

you can almost hear them grow.

Things with feathers and things with fur

call out lustily at the joyful revival.

P.S. Please don’t ask me to choose between the seasons;

thanks to their fleeting presence, I cherish

each whirling leaf

and every floating snowflake,

a single bursting bud

and the slow, unfolding flower.

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