Tuesday, September 20, 2005


The days here in southern Maine have made their commitment to the upcoming winter. Under 12 hours now, daytime has ceded control to the dark of night. The transition is peaceful and without fuss. The days backpedal in retreat a few minutes a day. By the time Summer has replenished it's will around the middle of December, Winter's invasion will have claimed over 14 hours of daylight every day. The beauty of this cycle is the predictability and annual light at the end of the tunnel. The beast of this cycle is knowing that predicability.

Many of us here in Maine suffer "cabin fever". A depression tied to the annual decline in daylight. I never thought I was a victim until the last few winters. The last few winters have been tough to deal with. I find keeping a upbeat attitude and a smile on my face more trouble than it is worth. Going to work at 7 AM in the dark gets old and the Sun out of sight by 4 just drives home that point.

I understand the mass exodus of seniors to Florida. After a lifetime of bone chilling winters, the year round warmth of Florida might have some appeal. But having lived in that Hell hole as a youngster, I will never make that commitment. The wheather may be warm. But it is not a friendly warm like the western desert. The humidity in the states surrounding the Gulf of Mexico punish my lungs every bit as much as the hard cold of Maine. When it is cold, I can always get warmer. Put on more duds, throw on that comforter, or back my butt up closer to the fire. Down south, I can only take off so much before I run out of options. I would still be hot and the neighbors might look at me oddly as I lounged in the hammock bare assed.

Always mentioned is Air Conditioning. Living in a climate controlled enviroment that re -circulates the same stale atmosphere I huffed out an hour ago. I find climate control at 70' F a boring existence. My lungs may like it, but like food, too much of a good thing is never good in the long run. Give me the erratic performance of Mother Nature here in Maine. Wheather that tests the body and the soul. Wheather that is not wimpy or indecisive. So, as much as I detest the drop in daylight, the winter that comes with it is exactly what I want.