Winter’s Sorrow

January 1, 2023

Photo by Andreas – on

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep.”

– Robert Frost

I’m up past midnight every night. So last night was… Saturday.

It seems to me that the beginning of a new year should fall at the beginning of seasonal change, not in the middle of fucking winter (or the middle of summer, if you’re in the southern hemisphere). It feels discordant.

I do get the “what fucking day is it” holiday dementia between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, even though I still go to work in-between those holidays and have to write the date on shit at least once a day.

But about half past twelve last night, as I was filling my 10th glass of water for the evening, I happened to glance at the clock. Oh, that’s right…

Stardate 100599

January and February are typically the worst months for your friends in Maine with Seasonal Affective Disorder, so the New Year usually marks an onset of the shittiest months of the year. Long, cold, dark, shitty months of the year.

Yes, even your friends with seasonal depression who enjoy being outside in winter. For the four hours of daytime you’re allotted. Trust me, it isn’t enough, no matter how much fun you think you’re having.

Even if this above-freezing weather continues, and my backyard maintains the semblance of a foggy moor, the world is still bare, dull, and sullen, blunted by the listless spectacle of winter in New England.

I’d take a foggy moor over the freezing cold and a blanket of snow this year though. I bet melancholy takes reverently to the imagined foggy moor for winter’s passing. It might help with my writing, should I get back to it in principled form.

It was 90 degrees for the entire summer: hot and muggy almost every goddamn day. In Maine. I think we could use the mediocrity of a beige winter; hell, it can even rain several days a week if it wants to be in the fifties every time it does so.

I wouldn’t miss the snow blower at all this year. My aching hands wouldn’t miss the fucking shovel either. Shoveling the back deck and a path to the gate without Miss Molly playing in the snow makes me cry as well, so I’ll give it all a fucking pass this year, if you don’t mind.

I knew grief would accompany winter this year, dragging a dejected sack of bereavement alongside cantankerous weather affirming a waning mortality in ever-aging bones. I knew through every hot summer day that I left work early to give my pup as much free time outside as she had left, that the coming winter would likely be insufferable regardless the weather.

So I’d take the lurking quiet of murky fog settling across the landscape, a misty blanket in place of the white cloak that inevitably soils, its dirty winter mural most disagreeable, should the weather fortuitously favor a sense of languid solace over unrelenting inclemency.

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