Rain on an umbrella from passing showers
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Fall – This time of year and this weather makes me feel restless. Writing becomes harder, it’s as though my philosophy becomes cloudy – as the rain falls and snow graces the peaks, my mind wishes for hibernation.

Part of this may be just the extreme information overload that is associated with the blogosphere and media in 2009 – bombarded feels like a suitable word some days. Like turning a fire hose of information on and trying to soak in every last drop. Or it may be the fact that the days are getting shorter and I realise that the list of tasks around the house over the summer grew rather than shrunk. Then again, perhaps it is the threat of imminent snow, again presented by the ubiquitous Weather Network website, each time you call up the website, a glimmer of hope exists that the snow will hold off for another week or so.

Does this malady have a name, and if so does it have a cure? Some would feel the need to call it Early Onset Seasonal Affective Disorder, if there is such a variety. I’d rather just work through the emotions related to the impending cooler weather, shorter days, and less sunlight with the wisdom of the ages to guide my thoughts.I really don’t think the weather gets me down any more than others, but it seems that the nature of writing about how you feel, is that it makes those feelings sound more dramatic than they really are. Whatever the answer, I think we’ve got to do a better job of respecting the seasons.

Genisis 8:22 ESV – “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

[ad#125-right]As a modern society, we get so wrapped up in linear progress, in work, society, economic progress, education and almost every pursuit of man, we’ve forgotten to live by the seasons, now admittedly, no one wants to starve in theearly spring as they wait for the new crops to feed them, but out whole North American economy essentially ignores the limitations of winter. Rather than slowing down and staying put, we speed up with more activities and school and drive to see family at Christmas, or fly to Mexico to escape the reality of the seasons, even for a brief holiday. We eat foods that are shipped from the other side of the world, never once thinking that bananas for sixty cents a pound in British Columbia in the middle of winter is bordering on ridiculous.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV – “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”.

I don’t often blog about the fact that I am a Christian – I used to, on a different blog, but feel that it is somehow inappropriate on UrbanWorkbench as the reader expectation is that the posts will be about my professional interests. But deep down, this is a blog about sustainability for life. We cannot divorce our beliefs from the causes we support. A sustainable life respects the simplicity of previous generations, and the cycles of life that we need to stop and observe, whether in the forest, in our garden, or in our families.

Lots of hot chocolate seems to be keeping the brooding feelings at bay, and rugging up and listening to a good story. Having an action plan helps too, now is the time to build lists and plan out the books to read, the topics to study and the issues to write about.  I’d like to say there is a happy ending to this story, and well it is simply that I love much of winter in the Kootenays. Getting out tobogganing and skiing with the kids and cross country skiing through the forest or on the golf course, and enjoying the months of cooler weather and hopefully lots of snow makes the dreary days seem worth it. Eventually spring comes around too, and with it, the promise of a new garden and vitality.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

3 replies on “Fall Philosophy”

  1. Anthropologically speaking, this is the time of year when we, like nature, start to slow down and conserve energy & calories. Also, it’s the time of year when we’re supposed to start storing more calories for a winter of leanness. I feel this every fall, and explains my need to slow down a bit – and make casseroles! Nothing wrong with it at all. You’re right though; we are so out of touch with the rhythms of nature in our society. There is no respect for what our bodies really need at this time of year.

  2. A very thoughtful article; you seem to have the right philosophy

    Go easy on the hot chocolate, get out with your family when you can, and perhaps slow down a bit.

    Go with the seasons. I am very aware of the changes, and although I regret the ending of summer, I still enjoy the winter (except for clearing my driveway after the snow plow has passed), celebrate the winter solstice and look eagerly for the first signs of spring.

    Also a reminder to take your vitamen D to make up for the lack of sunshine.

  3. the mood associated with Fall is somewhat dragging. I myself have that feeling during fall and winter. I tend to work slowly and I sometimes feel blue.but when spring comes, my spirit is high and I feel more energetic.

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