REFLECTIONS: This time of year is a downer

This time of year is as drab as dishwasher. It’s matched in dullness only by a conversation about the state of health of a fern. It’s more boring than watching the synthetic enamel fade on your mother-in-law’s dentures.

The dreariness settles over us like a shroud, smothering even the blithe spirits among us.

It gets darker earlier, which repaints my mood from cheery to glum. I worship sunlight. When the sun is bright, my deck glows with the elegant ambience of a cathedral. When my deck is enveloped in the heart of darkness by late afternoon, it might as well not be there.

I find myself going to bed earlier because I can’t wait until daylight crawls through my bedroom windows in the morning.


Shorter days and longer nights dim the dazzle, the aura of sunshine ambushed by the calendar. Now is when it starts to be grayer more frequently, with the sun making fewer appearances.

When the sun does come out, its angle this time of year makes sun glare even more daunting. Driving while blinded is a tougher balancing act than doing the tango in a canoe.

And now the autumn leaves are falling in abundance, more finely tuned in their descent than a Stradivarius. They carpet my lawn and will smother it if I don’t diligently remove them.

If we get too much November rain, the leaves have the texture of soggy Wheaties. Ever try to rake soggy Wheaties? Working on a chain gang is easier. Being a Roman galley slave is easier.

Unless you’re a polar bear, there is nothing surreal and sublime about falling temperatures. I may like to chill, but I loathe being chilly. Brisk autumn winds seem to bellow up from the bowels of Antarctica.

Then there is the constant bombardment of holiday shopping commercials that will pollute our television screens right until Santa’s sleigh lifts off.

Before you chastise me for being Scrooge, I will concede that the endless assault of Christmas commercials is less grating than those ridiculous political ads that insult your intelligence and make you wish we were a monarchy.

Speaking of Christmas, the hurly burly of holiday shopping, preparation and parties makes for a hyperkinetic existence.

We jet through things so fast that we leave vapor trails. When we loosen our swiftest hounds to pursue everything, sometimes things get soaked in the maelstrom. I imagine things are bound to get warped when you live at warp speed.

I wish I could burn a path across the window of time and fast forward to Christmas week and on New Year’s Day fast forward to spring. Alas, we mere mortals cannot make perjury out of time.