Winter and Us

Just before sunrise on Friday 19/12/14

Just before sunrise on Friday 19/12/14

So, after 48 hours of constant rain, I woke-up this morning to blue sky and the sun - and my mood improved. Through this change, I was reminded of how weather is a facet of Nature which nearly always punches through our disconnection to the outdoors regardless of what environment we are in - city or countryside. As a nation we moan about the rain or it being too hot. And, even though it is a negative attitude, it still illustrates our connection to the natural world: most of us are aware of the weather, if nothing else of the natural world.

I have become aware, this winter, of a shift in my mood as the days have drawn in, and the weather has become slightly harder, whether that be colder, windier, or wetter. My mood has dropped, or maybe I am just a bit more tired. I want to sleep more, and not go outside. It all just seems to take more energy. I know that I am not alone in this shift. And for me this demonstrates that we are more in-tune with the world around us than we are aware of - the seasons affect us whether we want them to or not.

The humble (and very cute) dormouse hibernates for long periods over the colder months, and so has to adjust to the drop in temperature. A dormouse can hibernate for up to six months, according to Wikipedia. So, our fellow mammals have to adjust to winter, and yet do we? We are aware of the days becoming shorter, and the temperature dropping, but do we do anything different to the summer months - do we adjust like the dormouse does?

As a person who clings to routine, I struggle to adjust, but I have found myself having to stop working outdoors earlier due to the lack of daylight, and wearing more layers to keep myself warm and dry. So, I have grudgingly adjusted to the season, but not very willingly! I believe that I am simply a reflection of society, however, which expects to continue with the 9 'til 5 work routine, and other usual tasks as if it was summer. And then people question why they find winter harder? society tries to explain the human difficulty with winter by diagnosing people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, rather than simply accepting that our moods, and our experience of the world, is affected by the seasons, the weather, and the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun. It is amazing to think that we are, in effect, directly affected by the amount sunlight the environment we live in receives. Obvious yet also amazing.