It is still over a month away from the winter solstice… the darkness is oppressive.  Last night was thirteen hours, thirty-nine minutes and thirty seconds of rainy, cold darkness.  It seemed longer… I was awake for much of it.  I feel the darkness in my bones…in my soul.  Tonight, darkness will be a minute and a half longer than last.  I am already dreading it.

It’s not just the darkness, it is the angle of the sun, rising low in the southeastern sky and staying low, lower, lowest for the next…forever.  I never saw the sun yesterday and won’t see it today.  Wet, winter doldrums and it’s only the mid-way point in November.

The acronym SAD just doesn’t seem strong enough.  Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I don’t guess miserable fits…as an acronym.  “I have MISERABLE!”  Or WRETCHED…or DISMAL.  On top of my spurts of just plain depression.

I have inherited much from my Grandmother.  Love for growing tomatoes, reading, bird watching, and wildlife in general.  I also inherited her depression.  Gray days sitting, wishing, gazing out at the winter contemplating when the sun will return.  I remember her “blue.”  Wilting and turning brown like plants touched with a frost.  I also remember her blooming in the Spring.  Hope “springs” eternal.

I see people gaily dressed in ugly sweaters and hoodies.  Embracing pumpkin spice and reveling in falling leaves and bonfires.  Elves in red who can’t wait to get through Thanksgiving.

Give me the sun.  Give me the hot and humid weather with mosquitoes and thunderstorms, lightning bugs and hoot owls to chase the darkness away.  Give me the sun, long and high in the sky.

Daylight is finally upon me…its still raining so I can’t see the sun.  A gloomy day that I feel cutting deep.  I can’t seem to concentrate or sleep.  My wife may be in for a rough day.  I write, check social media, pick up a book and stare at pages without reading, walk around the fireplace and then do it all over again.  I have a book ending to complete…maybe in the spring…or the summer, when my mind is not so fragmented by the dark.

Don Miller’s author’s page can be accessed at

Don Miller writing as Lena Christenson can be found at

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18 thoughts on “Winter…Sucks

  1. Don, you do such a wonderful job of describing SAD. Let’s hope this early winter blast is not indicative of what the rest of the winter will be. Maybe we’re getting the worst of it out of the way early. I know that doesn’t help with the long hours of darkness, but I certainly would appreciate a little warmer winter this year….

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  2. AW. 😦
    I have a friend who deals with SAD. I get her out of her house and take her to well-lighted places for a chat, a cup of hot tea or coffee, to take a walk, to do volunteer work with me, etc. She says that helps a little.
    Winter is not my favorite season…I love Autumn, Spring, and Summer more. But, I try to look at Winter as the earth resting…and we all need rest. 🙂
    And weirdly, I do enjoy a clear-night-sky in Winter. I love gazing at the stars and moon while feeling the cold on my face. 🙂 The beauty and vastness of it all makes me grateful that I am still a small part of this amazing universe. 🙂
    You have my prayers, good thoughts, and joyful wishes that this Winter will not be too difficult. And I hope you can find things positive things to do that will help.
    Please remember that before we know it, Spring will sprung again! 🙂
    🌞 🌞 🌞

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  3. I don’t mind winter at all. It’s just the cold darkness and long days without sunshine that sink me, and the suddenness with which the sun makes its excite – 5:14 PM yesterday. One minute here, then, “Peace out, people,” mic drop, sun gone. We’re wedged into a valley, so those mountains and the low winter sun play havoc with the length of day. Weird to escape the mountain’s bitter shadow by driving down the Interstate and finding that day still exists outside of the valley. Makes me want to write a story, “The Valley of Eternal Darkness”.

    Like you, my thoughts turn to calculations. It’s not winter yet so let me calculate how short those days will be. It’s not winter, and not ‘really’ cold here, not yet but I can smell it, and feel it sneaking in to steal our heat.

    Geez. Now I’m depressed.

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