A Sunny December Day to Forget My Seasonal Depression
I forgot how reliant I am upon the sun, but every year I seem to forget. Maybe this time I’ll remember.
A small sliver of sunshine has graced Missouri today with its presence, and every denizen seems to have taken notice. I have nestled into a small corner on my balcony warmed by the wonderful rays where I can watch people of all sorts taking sauntering strolls with their dogs, significant others, or just the company of themselves. Even the animals seem to have embraced this unusually warm December day, postponing their usual tasks of food, water, and shelter to bask in the almost forgotten sun.
The squirrel on the tree next to me has been lounging on a sunward facing branch for longer than I’ve been outside, and I must say, I’m jealous of his spot. While I’m slowly losing sun behind the building that I pay hard-earned money to live in, my bushy-tailed friend is laying freely on his perch, safe from any passerby below him, in what I can only assume is a prime spot for sunbathing.
It is strange how every year after the cold has seeped through all the cracks of fall, I easily forget just how reliant my mood is on the fiery ball in the sky. I suppose we orbit around the sun in more than just a literal sense.
But when on these rare days when the sun peeks out from over the southern horizon, and the gray clouds are courteous enough to depart, it takes barely a second under the pale, yellow light for me to remember the simple comfort of warmth, and my worries subsequently melt away.
It takes barely a second before my shoulders release their tension. Barely a second before my mouth curls into a smile. Barely a second before I once again discover the answer to my winter blues. I can blame the sluggishness, the apathy, the increased desire for purpose and meaning, all of it, on the sun’s departure.
Every year I so easily forget the importance of the sun. Every year I wonder why it is I find it harder to get out of bed as winter encroaches on the land. Every year I remember, and I hope I don’t forget, that my seasonal depression is not my fault.
If I’m thankful for anything in the coming weeks and months, I hope I’m thankful for the reminder that the sun still exists. When January comes peddling its negative temperatures to all the days unlucky enough to agree to them, when February settles in and reduces the winter wonderland to a slushy glob of cold, wet, and uncomfortable, I hope I remember this day. Because sometimes it is just the knowledge that there is something greater out there that keeps us going and gets us through the darkest days.
As for now, my little sliver of sunshine has disappeared behind the bricks, and I’m starting to worry I’m scaring my squirrel friend with my incessant staring. And so, with that, I’m off to the park. Hopefully, I can find a spot in a tree as comfy as the one my friend has found next to me.