Yesterday we were treated to something we haven’t seen in a while! The SUN! The last few weeks were drab and gray, accompanied my many droplets of rain. It really was very discouraging. I know from past experience that this type of damp, gray, cool, wet, and sunless weather is not good for my soul.
Winters used to be particularly hard for me. Living in Western New York in my youth and early adulthood, we were accustomed to gray weather for many months. I was sure I experienced SAD, or Season Affective Disorder when we lived there in the early days of our marriage. I worked 12-hour shifts at a hospital so I went to work in the dark and went home in the dark. My experience lead to self-diagnosis and is purely based on anecdotes, but the signs and symptoms were there. Getting outside during daylight hours did seem to help, even if there wasn’t any sun. I was never formally diagnosed or treated, for that matter. But, still, I remember the grayness affecting my mood in a negative way.
When we moved to the midwest, I immediately noticed a difference in our winters. Many winter days were filled with bright sunshine and cornflower blue skies. The cold and occasional dark winter days did not affect my mood as greatly as it had in the past. But, slowly over time, while we lived in Wisconsin, I’ve noticed an increase in gray days. I’m not sure whether its my imagination or there truly has been an increase in gray days. If I really wanted to know, I am sure I could google that and find out. But, it doesn’t really matter whether it is true or not, it is how I have perceived the sky.
So, when we have days, like yesterday and today, when the sky is once again bright blue and there is an absence of clouds so the sun can shine through, I am happy. It makes a difference to see light and feel warmth, nurtured by this object in the sky. Days like this seem to beckon you outdoors for a walk, to garden, to just sit and enjoy the cool autumn breeze in the bright sunshine.
On days like this, I feel like Fredrick the Mouse, the character in the old Leo Leoni story, who stores up colors to brighten the long gray days of winter. On those days, I’ll have to rely on the bright sun and colors I’ve stored in my memory to keep the gray away.