The longest night of the year is tonight. Hours and hours of darkness. But with the Winter Solstice so comes with it, the light. Now, happily, the days will slowly start getting longer. I for one am thrilled about that.

I have a dear friend that suffers from Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD as some know it. It’s a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year. She dislikes these long, dark days so much so that she gleefully claims it’s Spring come January.

I get it. I’ve never considered myself depressed, maybe blue for a time but not clinically depressed. But the long nights do get to me much more than they used to. I tend to love summer the most, partly because there’s so much light. I love having warm sunsets at 8 or 9 o’clock. Maybe not the longest night makes me blue but the passing of time and how it’s a reminder that another year is almost gone. That’s enough to make you depressed if you think about it much.

Trying to get myself out of a blue period lately, I’ve been trying to get outside and walk even in the cooler weather. Soak up some vitamin D from the low in the sky sun. It does help. The days getting shorter has really changed my walking habit though. During the summer, I could walk after dinner. It was even preferred as it was a bit cooler. Now, I feel rushed to get in a walk before 4:30 or I’ll be walking in the dark. A little unsettling when I hear the wailing of coyotes seemingly just over the hill.

Also, on this longest night is the coming together of Saturn and Jupiter in the Great Conjunction. Apparently, there’s a conjunction every 20 years but they haven’t been this close since 1623 and not even visible this close since 1226! Sounds impressive, right? It’s pretty cool, but I was a little less than impressed after seeing it on the news. I tried to see it, but the tree line covered it up and I just didn’t have it in me to drive up on a hill and try to find it especially after seeing it on tv. It’s not as exciting as the lunar eclipse was we had recent years.

Long shadows on a winter's day walk

Zoey and I on a cold late afternoon walk

The longest night

This is the first year I’ve actively tried to improve my health with exercise. Walking down my gravel road has been a surprisingly respite from everyday worries, especially this year. I’ve come to look forward to my walks, not dreading them like I do the elliptical, or torture device as I call it. I think about my art, choices I’ve made in life… I listen to music, look at the beautiful scenery I’m so fortunate to live in and breathe in the country air.

Lately, I’ve been noticing so many of my favorite songs talk about the passage of time. Especially today. It seemed every song I heard, I read time passing in it. Maybe it wasn’t their intent but it’s how it was interpreted by me. I think about the passing of time a lot.

For instance, one that I’m not expecting many to recognize is Incubus. Incubus, even though much of the music is nearly 20 years old, has become one of my most listened to and loved bands this year. The lyrics go like this…

Seven a.m
The garbage truck beeps as it backs up
And I start my day thinking about what I’ve thrown away
Could I push rewind?
The credits traverse signifying the end
But I missed the best part, could we please go back to start?

Forgive my indecision

Funny how when you’re young, time passes so slowly and as you age it seems like it passes faster. I read an article about this the other day, there’s science behind it and how we actually perceive time differently as we age. Today I thought about how would I represent time passing in a painting. I haven’t the answer for that yet.

Here’s another by Incubus

You were the first in flight, now a modern relic
Merely a payphone on a one AM sidewalk
We’re all cast aside and we’re antiquated
Right as we start to finally figure out what we are

Where is this all going and what does it have to do with the Winter Solstice with the longest night? I have no idea but for some reason I felt like talking about it today. Perhaps the revelation will help me with thoughts of getting older… past prime. Do you know that feeling? Invisible. I’ve written about that before here.

It’s about having less control over things yet more in control than you’ve ever realized simply because truly knowing time passes quickly and life is short because you’ve lived it. It’s not just what people say, it’s true.

Kinda like this year, 2020. We’ve had next to nothing in the way of control. Even as the immunizations are rolling out, I wonder how in control we’ll be six months from now. I think we’re delusional if we think we actually have any control ever, not that we ever did. We just like to think we did.

winter country walk

⬅︎ Where Art Happens

paintings by Jaime Haney

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.

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