I’m searching desperately for the sunshine.
When I was in the 8th grade we read a short story by Ray Bradbury titled All Summer in a Day. If you are unfamiliar with the story, it takes place in the future on a planet where the rain falls every day and there is only one day of sunshine. I’m recanting this from memory, but at some point the girl gets locked in the closet and she sees that sunlight through the crack in the bottom of the door and reaches out and touches it.
Lately I feel like that girl in the closet.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. I have not been diagnosed with it, but we have been hit with a cold, dark winter here in the midwest United States and it’s kind of beginning to gnaw at me. My children were off from school for snow day after snow day except that it was due to extreme cold—not snow.
When we get a lot of snow they can build snowmen and forts and run around in the yard with our dog. We can go sledding and have snowball fights and make angels. But with this—this extreme cold—we have been left shuttered up in our homes.
As an adult, I get to go to work regardless of the temperature which means layering on shirts and sweaters and thick fuzzy socks. It means covering my face with a scarf and feeling the sting of the frozen air hit my nose right through it. And while I am ever so grateful to have a warm house and a place to hunker down in, to be honest I feel like I need just a bit of sunshine.
I’ve found some comfort in saunas and hot showers. (although the water turns cold after a short time) I warm up my rice bag in the microwave and sip tea so hot I burn my tongue. I slather lotion on my raw, dry skin and run a humidifier from time to time. But none of this is a replacement for that beautiful, glowing star in the sky.
Yes, I am complaining. No I don’t want to suck it up.
Since a vacation to a tropical place is not in my near future, I will find a way to deal. I will bundle up and drink my tea and glance at the calendar knowing that spring in not too far away. I will close my eyes and try to shake these winter blues.
So as I sit here in the darkness and the cold, I will let my soul find the warmth. I will reach for the sunlight under the door.
It’s there, I can feel it.
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo credit: Pixoto/Ľubomír Drápal