I keep singing that song by Simon & Garfunkel (and later, redone by the Bangles, the version I prefer), A Hazy Shade of Winter.
Most likely this is because we got a couple of more inches of snow this morning. And yes, it is beautiful, everything coated and soft. When evening comes (and it comes at around 4 p.m. now, and we’re still losing over five minutes a day), everything turns a lovely blue before darkness settles in.
And settles in. And settles in. We’re down to seven hours of daylight and trust me, the darkness can wear on you. It can press down on your shoulders and make you feel a little bit crazy.
Which is why I have to run or swim or get out each day. If I don’t, I sink down into a dark place and lie on the sofa and stuff carbs into my mouth while binge watching Netflix (it’s Weeds right now, poor Nancy Botwin and her impossibly messy choices, and why in the hell is she always sipping on some type of drink?).
But when it’s still light, in that hour or so before dark, when I’m finishing up my run, I feel that special magic of winter and dusk and the silence of the snow-coated trees and the occasional moose I pass as the dog and I run trails, and at such times, I am madly and wildly happy.
Of course, my running high only last so long. And then I begin to sink again. It’s the time of year. It’s the darkness. It’s to be expected. Sometimes I go to the gym at night, crank the treadmill up on its highest elevation setting and trudge up and up and up while watching Weeds. Sometimes I do this for two hours. I realize that this is a little bit extreme, a little bit ridiculous, but it gets me through.
The odd thing is that as much as I don’t exactly adore the winter, as much as the darkness wears me down, I still find it incredibly beautiful. I suppose that’s always the case, isn’t it? It’s always easier to love the things that are hard, that we don’t understand; the things that challenge us the most.