21 December 2009

Watch Out for the Solstice!

It’s particularly noticeable in December… The days get shorter so fast it’s hard to adjust to the increasing darkness.  Today we  have less than six hours of daylight, and that from a sun low in the sky, on or close to the horizon.

St Petersburg is approximately60 degrees north, the largest city this far from the equator.  So, what do we do about seasonal affective disorder…SAD?  The people I know here talk slower, sleep more, and aren’t as pleasant as usual.

People in the northwest of Russia do not talk about a seasonal affliction that deserves study and treatment.  They just figure it’s normal to feel kind of crummy at times, what with the sun so dim or gone, the cold, and the eerie landscape of trees with few leaves left.

Remember, the typical answer of a Russian if asked, ‘ How do you feel?’  is ‘Normalna’, not , ‘Wonderful, Great’, as in America.

Russians are a people who endure, train their minds to not feel pain as many sensitive Americans do, and are stoic about the weather and seasonal changes.  They complain to each other, just as we Americans do, but they are much less likely to buy a full spectrum light or see a doctor about the symptom of feeling down, which they will probably not recognize as sometimes part of clinical depression.

Tonight a minute before 847 I plan to stop what I am doing and listen for the sound and shudder of gears as our Universe shifts yet another time to…  winter!

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