Thursday, December 24, 2009
This is the third and final time I am going to try to post about this. The first two times they disappeared before I could publish it. Blogger has cursed me, I swear.
Anyhow, the topic was the winter blues, or SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I have prepped myself for suffering from SAD as we prepared to move to Alaska. Given the dark winters and my genetic predisposition I thought I was a sure case of weeping and sobbing come winter. I am pleasantly surprised to find that I am doing fine. I have a twofold theory as to why this is true.
First, the winters are not nearly as dark as what I had been prepared for. Alaskans do not live in 6 months of total darkness (at least not this part of Alaska, it is a pretty big state), as many (and by many I mean everyone in the lower 48) seem to think we do. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of light we have in winter. It was winter solstice a few days ago and the sunrise was about 10:15 and the sunset was around 3:30. It is light for a while before sunrise and after sunset, the sun is just behind the mountains. I have come to really appreciate the sun here. In NC the sun was simply oppressive. It was too hot to go out in the summer and you break into a sweat simply going from a building to your car. The kids couldn't go outside unless they were swimming or playing in the slip and slide. I used to pine for cloudy, rainy days to escape from the sun. Here, I welcome the feel of the sun on my face and don't fear the cancerous death rays that it was constantly shooting at me in NC. I love sunny days and appreciate them now.
My second theory as to why SAD has eluded me so far is that I am constantly in awe of how beautiful it is here. I'd been in the south for so long that I had forgotten how beautiful winter can be. Winter is anything but dull and dreary here. Plus add the backdrop of mountains everywhere you turn, and it is simply amazing. The fog here does something I have never seen before. In the winter it creates frost/ice crystals on every thing that is outside. The signs, trees, cars... everything. The trees look like lace and when the frost really builds up it reminds me of coral. It's like giant white coral have left their salty home and opted live on dry land for a while. It really feels like a movie set, it is just so perfect and pristine.
So there you have it, my twofold theory. Perhaps I have just jinxed myself, but I figure if I have made it past winter solstice, I should be good to go. I'm sure some day I'll get used to the beauty of this place, but I sure hope not. Sometimes I'll walk out of Target and see the mountains in the distance, and they take me by surprise, like I had forgotten they were there. I hope they always surprise me.