Longing for light

Sunlit Tree

Growing up in Portland, one of the things I prided myself on was the fact that I was never one of those people who was plagued by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I didn’t mind the long, overcast days and the weeks without sun. I was tough, I was a Pacific Northwesterner.

Then I moved to Philadelphia and began to lose my resilient ways. First, I stopped seeing sandals as appropriate year-round footwear. Then I started using an umbrella (people in the Northwest don’t use umbrellas, they either don a hood or just dodge the raindrops). Finally, I began to long for the sun.

While I still don’t think I’m someone who gets excessively blue because of the lack of sunlight, I’m finding myself desperate for natural light these days. I hate to leave my apartment to go to work, in large part because it means that I’m bidding farewell to the light that comes in our nearly wall-to-wall living room windows. There’s still some light left in the sky when I leave work in the evenings these days and when I walk out into it each evening, I feel a wave of gratitude sweep over me for the absence of darkness.

Part of the problem is that I work in the far corner of the office. I’m tucked back here with some truly lovely people, but their charm doesn’t make up for the fact that we are nowhere near a window.

I know that lots of people find relief for this sort of thing from light boxes. However, I don’t think that’s the solution for me. I don’t think I need the particular UV rays. I need the space and air that comes from having access to light. Unfortunately, there’s no solution for this problem at the moment. For the time being, I will just be grateful for the approach of spring.

4 thoughts on “Longing for light

  1. Fran

    I used to have a classroom with no windows. I would arrive at school pre-dawn and leave in the dark during the shortest days. And during Science Olympiad season. But now, the rooms I teach in have windows! It makes a HUGE difference. If another teacher closes the shades for watching a video, I HAVE to open the shades again so I can feel better. I agree that charming people are no substitute for real daylight!

  2. Mary

    Rittenhouse Square lunches make all the difference for me. Though heels will never be the thrill of walking barefoot through grass.

    And thank god we’re allowed to personalize our cloth-wall caves. Otherwise…kaput.

  3. Marisa

    Mary, I am positively jittery with the thought that it will soon be warm enough to have Rittenhouse lunches again.

    I am grateful that we can personalize things, but it doesn’t help much when all I really want to do is punch a very large hole through the wall.


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