Monday, April 8, 2013

On Coming Out of Hibernation

Ha!  I'll bet you thought this was about bears!  Nope.  This is about people coming out of hibernation.  It is an interesting thing about the darkness in Alaska and its effect.  For me, right around daylight savings in the fall, I get a sense of darkness taking over and I mentally resist it, yet knowing it is inevitable.  I pull out the SAD light and keep it out on the dining room table for the kids to read by at breakfast, and I will eat lunch in front of it.  I make sure I get outside and exercise at least a few days a week. I take my vitamin D supplements.  And yet, right around the beginning of March, I feel a lightening of spirit.  I sense the cobwebs being cleared out of my brain.  I start anticipating summer and longer days with eagerness.  As the days lengthen, I wake up earlier in the mornings and feel more energized--despite all my efforts to keep the energy up all winter.

Looking around, one can see the effects of darkness on others, but you don't always know that it might be the darkness--you might guess they have a lot of stress in their lives to account for their crabbiness, or they are having a bad week, or they have PMS--but chances are, all of those things have an edge added to them by the shorter days and lack of vitamin D.  I recall one friend who has lived in Homer awhile say to me, "The end of February, everybody is crabby and depressed and ready for winter to end, and some issue will blow up (locally) because of it."  Before she said that, I'd never contemplated the community effect of darkness.  It is better when we can acknowledge it and be aware of it...but most people want to deny the effect of short hours of daylight on them.  I can understand that, because all winter I'll think I'm handling it just fine, doing all the right things, but when March comes along, I realize I was on some level asleep all that time.

So we ease into April and suddenly I am blogging more.  Coincidence?  Could be.  Could also be I am coming out of hibernation!

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