Monday, November 2, 2009

On the Road Again...

This morning we'll pack
and load up the car
to drive
back down to Virginia.

I kid. I'm not really annoyed about it... I actually like driving long distances, it gives me a chance to clear my noggin - and let's be honest, there's no jamming quite like car jamming.

On another note,
The sky has been mostly gray and overcast during our stay here in PA, and I have it under good advisement that it'll be this way, more or less, until spring dusts green on the world again in, oh, maybe 6 months or so.

After a chat discussing the merits of sunny California skies over gray Pennsylvania ones, I had an epiphany. Yes, of course the cloud cover can be seen as oppressive and sad. It could be viewed as a cover pressing down on you, keeping out the light in more ways than one. Don't levels of depression go up in winter months and aren't they always higher in cloudy cities?
The cloud cover could also be seen as just that - a cover - a blanket. Snuggling you, tucking you in, holding you safe during the winter. I know that it doesn't make logical sense. Less clouds make you warmer, let the sun in, clouds don't in any real way keep you safe, blah blah blah but go with me here.

As someone who's lived without any seasons to speak of for years and years, there's a richness that I'm feeling in my life now that I have the luxury of staying in tune with the cycles of the year in this way. What if we took winter, and the chill, and the rich food, and the involuntarily slower life style and did with it the same thing that nature does? Rest, and germinate? Spend the winter months in the home, with each other, enjoying their company and planning for the next year? Then, when the summer comes, we'd spend our lives out and about, enjoying the sun, eating lighter foods, living as nature does, vibrantly and loudly and brightly? (not to mention tanned and toned, which I'm sure would happen)...

Of course, that would also require that we make it an everyday practice during the summer to get out and enjoy the weather when it's enjoyable...and nowadays most people spend all their time holed up inside, no matter the season, being entertained by various forms of electronics...

But you can bet your buttons that's what I'll be doing, especially now that time outside has lowered in availability such that the demand has increased exponentially (within me, at least!)

Oh yeah, and a quick note on Vitamin D.
Vitamin D, which comes to us in various foods (although, since it's usually added in from a lab, our bodies don't really absorb it that way) and via sunlight against our skin, is cited as one of the possible reasons that we get all sad and stuff when it's dark outside in times like winter and rainy seasons. Or the lack of Vitamin D, anyway. However. All you actually need in order
to stay within a healthy Vitamin D range is 15-30 minutes of sun on your face and hands each day. Yes, even in cloudy weather. And, as I always used to tell my students in my health and fitness classes, cloudy days DON'T actually mean less UV rays. We just assume they do (which results in lots and lots of sunburns in rainy Florida, lemme tell ya).

So I don't think it's the lack of actual sun in winter that gets people down. I think it's the uninviting conditions outside that make us not want to go out at all. If we do go outside, even for a half hour walk or run or raking of the leaves or, heck, conversation on the phone standing in the back yard, we'll be fine.
So there you go. Put on your gloves, grab a friend, and adopt an early-evening walking practice. You'll be happier. I promise.

Happy chilly Monday!

Today's quote:
"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." ~James Thurber

1 comment:

angryredhead said...

I love that idea, sorta like a winter hibernation. That's basically what we do here in Newfoundland anyway. The winters are so terrible that when summer rolls around, everyone takes advantage of any sunshine's like the city entirely changes, I love it.

P.S. I hate long car rides. A LOT.