Wednesday, January 09, 2008

And There Was Light

One week ago I walked through deep snow in bright sunshine and bitterly cold temperatures at the Guelph Arboretum. That sunny day was followed by grey, damp, foggy weather as temperatures rose and the thaw started. Dawn and dusk were obscured and the noonday light was no different than the light at eight and four.

Light is essential to life and the lack of it really does have a negative effect on the mind and body. I have been reading Femail Doc's blogs, Doc of Ages and Denver doc online lately. She has a great sense of humour and her posts are always informative. In Monday's post she featured a link to The Center for Environmental Therapeutics, a site that has some quizzes designed to determine if you are a morning or night person, and whether your gloomy mood is related to SAD.

One of the quizzes determined that I am a morning person, which I already knew. However, when I go to work in the winter, I am not sure it is morning yet. Today I followed the car above with the vanity plate "Grumpee1". I wonder who has to live with Grumpee 1, 2 or 3? (Note the dwarf Grumpy in the back window of the car) I think most of the commuters today could have been described as Grumpee as the traffic crawled along. The sky was heavy and dark and strong wind gusts blew garbage across the roadways.

I was running ten minutes behind when I turned into the main hospital entrance to see a large pine tree that had just fallen and was completely blocking the roadway. If I had been on time, I may have had a tree on the roof of my vehicle. Was I even meant to come to work today? At least I had a really good excuse for being late. Two other pine trees on the hospital property blew down this morning and thankfully no one was injured.

There is no doubt in my mind that weather changes cause susceptible people to experience more pain in their joints and muscles, even though I don't think there are scientific studies to prove the point. Many of our geriatric patients suffer with depression and anxiety that may have been present for years or recently developed as a result of illness and loss. The dark, dreary days do nothing to improve their mood.

By afternoon, the winds had decreased and the skies cleared as a cold high pressure system moved in. The temperatures were still above freezing and with the heavy overnight rainfall, flooding was a problem in many parts of the region. After work I went down to the trail I often walk during my lunch break. I have marked the trail on the picture below. I have seldom seen the river so high and running so quickly.

And there was light...the sun was bright and the sound of moving water was soothing.

Grumpee is now Happee!


  1. I love that plate - wonder if the spouse bought it as a "gift":)

  2. Wow Ruth, your grass is so green! Has the melting snow caused your flooding? I'm glad you got to see the sun--it's been absent here in Minnesota for several days now.

  3. One of the benefits of a cold spell is that it is often bright. While I don't require anything to tell me I'm a night person, I might head over to check out the site anyway.

  4. I suspect Dopey and Sleepy live with Grumpee. Grey, damp, and foggy...oh my. Love the photos.

  5. I know that gray days make me want to hole up and read, or to bake... That last photo is quite lovely, the way the light hits the bridge!

  6. Whew Ruth, that was a close sort of call, wasn't it? Glad you were running late!

  7. Jean- One could imagine all sorts of things about the origin of that license plate...

    ruthie- Our grass is very green. One of my co workers is an avid golfer and said the grass looks better now than it did all through our very dry summer.

    AC- Night people are more creative I believe and their best output is in the wee dark hours.

    FD- :-) I could have added Dopey and Sleepy to the SAD mix of winter residents here! I went for a walk in the rain to get the first pictures and it did feel better than sitting indoors.

    Jennifer- Unfortunately I love to bake when it is dull too. Not good with the reduced walking I am doing. The bridge by the hospital is most photogenic especially when the sun hits the white.

    Jayne- You are right. You never know the reason your schedule may be different than planned.


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