Goodbye Sun

The weather was unusually warm this week with temperatures in low 20ºC during the day. From Sunday onward, the sky was clear and filled with sunlight. Then today, it rained—a warm rain with overcast skies.

I feel odd posting this given the topic of this week’s Lens Artist challenge. But I want to be the authentic me. And the authentic me knows what comes after the leaves have all fallen to the ground and the colour has been drained from the trees. Today heralds a change to long months of the cold grey death of winter.

A lack of sunlight from the shortening of the day and lengthening of the night can cause an increase in melatonin and a drop in the neurotransmitter serotonin and Vitamin D. I have a problem with Vitamin D deficiency even though I take 5000 units per day. This shift in hormones from the lack of sunlight can throw my mind and body out of whack and leave me feeling tired, irritable and blue. With the threat of infection from a deadly virus, I’ve been living away from my community of beer geeks and photographers for over eight months. I’m already feeling tired and irritable and blue. This blog post is an example of feeling tired and irritable and blue.

Sunlight through the fog | Tuesday 10 November, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | f/4.0 | ISO 640

Some of my friends talk about their love for winter skiing, freshly fallen snow and curling up by a warm fire. I doubt they’ll be doing much skiing this year. In winter, the options for getting out and moving around are limited—no more hikes in the woods. Icy paths and the cold make it very challenging to find opportunities for exercise.

The winter months can also bring on a state of restlessness, depression, and irritability brought on by spending time in a confined space. Some people call it cabin fever. Did I already mention that a global pandemic has confined me to my home for the last eight months? We’ve fought off feeling of cabin fever for the last eight months.

ginko biloba | Wednesday 11 November, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm | f/8.0 | ISO 1000

Normally I would look forward to some end of year cheerfulness from Thanksgiving and the Holy Days. Celebrating another rotation of the planet around the local gas giant with friends and families would support me through the winter months. But the rates of infection are spiking everywhere, and intelligent people are strongly advising that we skip the normal festivities; that we continue to isolate. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is this Saturday, 14 November. For my wife’s family, this is the first Diwali without her dad. This is also the first Diwali in her 52 years of life that she has been apart from her family.

I am headed into the winter months mentally exhausted with nothing left in the tank. When the first wave hit and we were ordered to abandon our shared spaces and isolate in our homes, I could perhaps take comfort in knowing that our isolation may be temporary. But I’ve lived through eight months of social and physical isolation and the infection number are spiking again as we head into winter. What’s the definition of temporary?

I consider myself and pragmatic optimist. I approach the challenges of life realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical and emotional considerations. I am hopeful about the future but I just don’t know when that future begins.

back light | Tuesday 10 November, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 MC Telephoto M42 | ISO 400

Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project.

human being | casual photographer | nemophilist | philomath | human being khakis | t-shirt | flip-flops

8 Responses

  1. I can understand you perfectly. Your images reflect very well the mood that most of us are feeling during this time of pandemic. We are tired, relying on positive change, which does not seem to come. That’s why we have to remind each other that… the sun will rise, too, tomorrow. I love your last image.

  2. The last photo is beautiful, Khurt. I understand what you are saying about the difficulties of the long, grey, cold winter. We normally spend winter months in Florida where it is sunny and warm because the cold of the north makes my body ache and the darkness affects my mood. I guess this year we will just have take it one day at a time and keep our courage up. Best wishes to you.

  3. I’m sure many of us feel the effect of these long months of pandemic-induced changes Khurt. That said you’ve made the most of your malaise with these beautiful images. The good news about the vaccine these past few days has given us reason to hope that the “new normal” may relatively become the past. Hang in there, “change is gonna come”!

  4. Oh no! Not the cold, grey death of winter!! Oooooh. 🙂 🙂 (Excellent photos. Sunlight Through the Fog is my favorite, with the hazy, colorful background and the curved tree branch in front.)

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