So November has arrived and with the weather that we have been treated to this week, there is no doubt that Winter is here. While this week I have enjoyed the benefit of an earlier sunrise around 6.45, the skies have been too grey and cloudy to treat me to any dramatic orange glows as the sun first makes it appearance, the daylight closing at 5 pm is a terrible price to pay: it means on work days, that we will arrive home in the dark. There will be no more beach walks after work, only the occasional ramble along the street-lit prom if the dogs are lucky.
For some people, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) takes hold in the winter, when there is less daylight around, but this has never been a problem of mine. There are elements of winter that I love :wearing boots and woolly jumpers, taking a walk on a crisp, chilly morning then returning home to snuggle in front of a roaring fire, feeling cosy, safe and warm and shutting out the elements. Joshua is not a fan of the outdoors, but especially in the winter. He has poor circulation, so his feet and hands are always icy and the only way for him to warm up properly, is to soak in a hot bath, then slide into his PJs. I have not noticed the cold being a seizure-trigger as much as the hot weather is but it is a problem, and he often gets blue fingernails when his fingertips get too cold.
So it is time to adjust our wardrobes and our plans in line with the weather. Some commitments will start to be ‘weather permitting’ as snow, ice and fog start to get in the way of our plans. I will have to start to remember to go everywhere with a coat and live my life more indoors than it has been in recent months. Joshua has been generous with his cold germs and has distributed them across the whole family, so we are heralding the arrival of winter with a traditional cough and sneeze.
After bonfire night, Christmas is the next event to look forward to and I have already given a lot of thought to the festive season and how best to get through it, without Mum being around. I now have a plan that I hope will work out, with a combination of busy-ness with visitors and some built in quiet time to reflect too. There is a service at Mum’s church in early December that I hope to attend, when we can light a candle for and remember lost loved ones , which is a lovely idea as Christmas is such a painful time for so many people, something to be survived. But survive it we will, life goes on and the seasons will change, whether we are ready for it or not. We have to endure the hardships of winter, to be able to appreciate the arrival of spring.