It's windy here today, the dry leaves swirling and dancing on the asphalt as I back my car out of the parking lot to head home. The temperature is cool, the kind of day that brings excitement in late March or early April, a harbinger of brighter, warmer days ahead.
This is not late March or early April, however. This is mid-October. A dreary, overcast day that hints of the cold to come, the dark days of winter stretching out before us. I can feel the darkness closing in on me, the long months to come looming ahead.
My thoughts slide sideways this time of year, dreaming of a different life, one filled with year-round sun and walks on the beach, the ocean breaking on the shore beside me. I long to pack my car, stopping only long enough to load my husband and son, and make an escape. Instead I head to the grocery store, the library, the bank - mundane chores filling my days until the spring brings a return to lightness.
I can feel myself sinking deeper with every overcast day, the sadness rising inside me with the shortening of the days. I'll keep to my house as much as possible, sleeping long hours and avoiding people. I want to be different, but every year it's the same - cold temperatures, long hours of darkness and depression seeping into my bones. I can see it coming again this year with an awareness that I've never had before, but I don't know how to stop it, how to hold it at bay until the sun returns next spring.
So, I'll make my way through the winter as best I can, taking refuge in my sideways thoughts - warm breezes, hot sand under my feet and the waves crashing. And I'll wait for the sun to come back to my landlocked, small town home. I know it has to.