It’s that time again: the Dark Season. Here in Michigan it’s four or five months of depressing weather and scenery. I know everyone doesn’t hate winter, and for some people it’s even their favorite season of the year, can you believe that? For me it’s something I dread when I get the first inklings of it in early November. But this year I’m going to try harder than ever to fight the sad feelings because…well…because the only other option is to pull the covers over my head and wait it out. Been there, done that. Not fun.
For all my talk of the healing power of nature, I have to admit that I don’t follow my own advice all the time. Especially in winter. I’ve got plenty of healthy and fun outdoor activities for good weather — mostly hiking, kayaking, and birding. But my primary winter activities are done on the sofa — reading, knitting, and tv (ugh). That’s definitely NOT healthy.
But I remember one day last year when Eric and I went for a rare winter walk in the woods, and it was really nice. And the photographer in me found that the scenery wasn’t nearly as dull as I’d expected. So I intend to get outdoors more this year to see what other surprises are to be found. I have a light box to help me deal with the absence of sunshine, but I’m still concerned about breathing only indoor air all winter long. Fresh air should help immensely, right?
I’m also toying with the idea of painting a few rooms in the house, a project that’s long overdue. But I worry about not being able to open windows to release paint odors. I’ve looked at some of the low-odor and/or low VOC paints out there, but they seem to be almost twice the cost of “regular” paints. But I think I’ll take another look and reconsider them. After all, our health is worth it. But even with that issue settled, I’m not sure I’ve got it in me to finish the job. I’ve done so much painting in the past decade, I’m sort of over it. (We moved in 1999, 2000, and 2006, and I painted in all three of those houses.) And my knees and back aren’t getting any younger. Hmm, maybe this project should be done by a professional.
I’ve got some writing projects cooking too, and even though those don’t get me outside they’ll at least occupy my mind through the Dark Season. I don’t know how much I’ll be writing here on the blog though. I’m sort of questioning the whole reason for this particular writing outlet. I love the writing, but since I don’t draw much of an audience here, I might as well just write for myself. There’s something depressing about publishing your work and not getting any response. A few of you have been frequent readers and commenters though, and I want you to know how much I really really appreciate that. Truly. Blog comments make my day because they tell me that someone out there acknowledges that I have something worthwhile to say. But when I write something that doesn’t get any reaction, I realize that I’m just not connecting with people the way I’d hoped. But who knows, maybe the new year will inspire me to keep trying. We’ll see.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and let’s wish for a happier and healthier 2012.