Since my depressions have always had a seasonal element, which suggests some form of Seasonal Effective Disorder, and since I've decided that I can overcome all this, I figured that one area I need to deal with is darkness.
It is the darkness of night and the shorter days that contribute to my feeling worse in October, and escalate in November and December. And independent of whether I live in Los Angeles or Norway, the fact is that for years I've known I have a sensitivity to seasons and light.
I believe that one of the best ways of changing behavior is confronting the fears that cause it. And I recently realized I have become frightened of the darker days. Before writing this post I reread an essay, In Praise of Sweet Darkness, by Shepherd Bliss, (which can be found in Ecotherapy:Healing with Nature in Mind). While I've quoted from Mr. Bliss's essay once before, today I'll provide two different quotes, which are illuminating for me.
"Darkness can allow transformation to occur. Seeds benefit from darkness in their hulls, and can drink from it for many long years before becoming beautiful plants when they finally burst into the light. Common caterpillars can crawl about with a hidden treasure within them, and then suddenly sprout into butterflies, flap their wings and soar into the air. Other small flying creatures can also penetrate the darkness. "
"...'How Sweet It Is' is a little sign that greets me when I drive from my small farm past another nearby small farm that specializes in honey. Whereas some honey is a light amber color, other honey is darker. Busy bees transform pollens and other tasty items into that sweetness, as chickens transform bugs, grass, and other tasty items into eggs. The Spanish poet Anthony Machado captured this transformation in lines that describe 'the golden bees.../making white combs and sweet honey/from my own failures.' The darkness of one's 'old failures' can indeed be transformed into something sweet. Bees and birds are among the many flying creatures that benefit from the benevolent darkness."
P.S. The graphic is by Chato B. Stewart, and I found it at Mental Health Humor and Cartoons.