Tuesday, December 27, 2022

In the Deep Midwinter

 As the year of 2022 comes to a close, I feel a wisp of melancholy seeping into me.  Nothing in the world is any better than it was last year.  In fact, things are just continuing to get worse.

I know it's partly the effect of the short days, long nights, and gloomy weather.  I admit I do have SAD ( seasonal Affective Disorder) so I try to sit under my full spectrum light as much as I can.

But some things are not like they used to be.  Just as an example, our winter this year arrived on November 1, which is technically the middle of fall.  The ancient festival of Samhain, which we celebrate as Halloween, marks the midpoint between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox.  Odds are that our winter here will last until nearly May 1, which some still celebrate as May Day.  It's the outgrowth of an ancient festival, Beltane, which marks the midpoint between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.  The result is our winters up here in northern Montana can last 6 months, from Samhain to Beltane.  Not complaining, just telling the truth as I see it here.  I think the Celtic peoples had it right.  They called Samhain the last day of autumn, and Beltane the first say of spring. Sure fits here.

 Sometimes friends tease me and say, "What happened to Global Warming?  I remember when Climate Change used to be called Global Warming.  A lot of people in the southeastern US this year are probably wondering why they have broken all kinds of cold temperature records. We have actually broken cold temperature records here in Montana, too.  At least half the US has been crippled by what is being called "The Blizzard of the Century."  I hate to say this, but more extremes in weather patterns are one of the effects of Climate Change.  Some places will receive extreme cold or heat.  The "usual" storms like blizzards and hurricanes will become more intense as our earth's atmosphere tries to adjust to the changes in temperatures of our bodies of water, especially the oceans.  Sorry to say this, but the next "Blizzard of the Century" may happen well before we reach the 22nd century.

Many people claim there is no such thing as Climate Change because they don't want the status quo of our energy systems or their pocketbooks and stock market investments to change.  But no matter whether people believe it or not, these storms, droughts, and potential famines are going to continue.  Maybe all this isn't caused by human activities, but change is coming one way or another.  And there's nothing we can do about it, except perhaps try to control our carbon dioxide emissions, and be more prepared for extreme and unusual weather.  For example, I think the South needs to take this as a wakeup call. 

I often wonder if becoming a snowbird would help me with these long winter blues I tend to get. My hubby and I have investigated various possible places to go, but none of them feel right so far. (Last March we went to southern Utah and northern Arizona, only to encounter cold weather and snow there, too.) And after this huge Christmas storm, I think I'd rather stay here up north, where we are prepared for this type of weather.

At any rate, I'm considering joining my cat.  With the record cold, she started spending her days sequestered in my stuffed closet, hiding under my overhanging clothes, and other piles of stuff I've accumulated in there.

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