While we haven’t quite experienced the bitter cold of winters past, twilight still appears much too soon, the trees are barren, and the world...

While we haven’t quite experienced the bitter cold of winters past, twilight still appears much too soon, the trees are barren, and the world lacks color. Cardinals dot the branches of my naked trees and give me little bursts of joy, but alas, winter is still here. We may be having 70-degree days, my windows may be flung wide open in the dead of January, but try as I might; the doldrums have appeared.

I get this way every winter, and truly wish that I could hibernate. Those that know me well probably wish that I would. I become melancholic, I walk around outside, feed the chickens, try and play with the dog, to no avail. Even soaking up what measly Vitamin D we are getting these days does not seem to push the doldrums away. It surely does not help that we have been getting weather more typical to the Pacific North West, dark skies, drenching rains; all reflections of my current state of mind.

If I were a turtle, I would hide inside my shell from the beginning of December until the end of March. I find myself doing the human version of that inside my house. I long for cold days where my wonderful husband can build a fire and I can stay inside cozy and warm with my nearest and dearest. I physically find it painful to leave my house, I want to stay home and be with my husband and children and the hell with everything and everyone else. To say I hate this feeling is an understatement. I am a joyful soul, I love to talk and laugh and be around others, except for four months out of the year. It is the oddest, and at times most debilitating thing to have deal with, especially come Monday when I have to go to work.

Of course, once I am out of the house and my mind gets working I do feel better, I am focused on other things. I just cannot shake this awful, terrible, life-sucking melancholy that accompanies these few short months. It is like clockwork, and come Christmas I begin dreading the coming weeks, knowing that my wicked old friend will soon be here. I know that I will not want to go to the library, grocery store, YMCA, etc. I will instead force myself to go the library because if you are hibernating you MUST have books, and I will struggle and push and make myself go to Kroger because my children must eat. I do enjoy cooking, so while hibernating I cook, and eat, and read. This brings up the YMCA, the very place that I have not seen the inside of since November. This cannot be shocking behavior, and I cannot be the only one.

I have become anti-social, anti-people, anti-everything for the foreseeable future-well, just until March. I tell you, at the first signs of spring; that first “Mr. Robin” searching for worms in my yard, the first of his eggs in a nest, so brilliantly blue – I will feel the cloak of sadness and longing lift. It is miraculous, but happens yearly. The first mildly warm day, my children and I will go outside and lay on the ground spread out like starfish and soak up that spring sunshine. I will blast Vivaldi’s “Spring” and fling my windows wide open, I will pick daffodils and fill mason jars with them and pray that my azaleas will bloom as gloriously as last year. Spring is my hope and for everyone’s sake I hope it’s a beautiful one.