Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gloomy Days

It's a beautiful day here in the Arkansas Ozarks. The sun is shinning, birds are singing and temperatures are lingering in the upper 50s. Spring is definitely in the air.

Yesterday was a beautiful day as well but it was cooler, the sky was overcast, threatening a rain that never came and the sun never showed its face. The birds still sang and the day spoke of spring, but as I walked through the nearby woods I reveled in the cloudiness and somewhat gloomier atmosphere that enveloped the area. Although I had already been feeling melancholy due to outside influences, the day matched my mood perfectly. As a result, I got some much needed work done on my latest novella, which is near completion, and figured out a perplexing situation I find myself with on Microsoft Word 2007. I even watched a full episode of the original Battlestar Galactica on You Tube. All in all, I think yesterday was a wonderful day.

Don't get me wrong, I recognize a pretty day whether the sun is shinning or not; but admittedly, it's the darker days that seem to not only inspire my creativity, but better compliment my somewhat melancholy personality as well.

When the sun is shinning I become more restless; I want to go outside and do more physical types of work. I'm not as content to stay indoors by the computer; I become more social. There is a strange paradox in all of this because although I'm more inclined to do things outdoors on sunny days, I try to avoid being in the sun. Even on a day like this one, which won't come close to approaching summertime temperatures for this area, the sun burns too much for me to want to stay under it for any length of time. It may only be February, but the sunshine is already far too bright for me to venture very far without my sunglasses; the glare is simply too much for me.

My musical listening habits seem to change according to the brightness of the day as well. On dark, rainy days I'm perfectly content sitting on the computer doing something creative while listening to my favorite doom metal, dark ambient or some of the more moody classical composers. It's at the times when sunshine is more abundant that I might actually get caught listening to brighter, more mainstream music. One time, I might have actually put on some Grateful Dead; a rare moment indeed!

Of course, it's during the darker months of the year that we experience the coldest weather. I don't particularly like the cold; and I care neither for too much snow nor have any great love for ice storms and the devastation they can cause. In spite of these things however, I always look forward to the autumn, when the days will once again grow shorter and gloomier--when I can dress darker and more stylishly without my favorite clothing holding in the summer's heat--without their requiring more frequent washing; hence speeding the loss of their black dye.

There is something that I absolutely love about the summer's here however, and that's the nighttime. When the sun makes its way below the horizon the heat may well linger throughout much of the night, but that bright scorching orb is gone. There is no longer a burning upon my skin as I walk from place to place or a brightness so intense as make my eyes squint. Instead, the woods around me burst into an almost deafening, yet restful symphony provided by the tree frogs, katydids and crickets. Scientists say that the music these creatures produce are a part of their mating rituals. I prefer to believe that they are rejoicing in the night and can no longer contain their exuberance that it has finally arrived.

Of course, there are those who find amusement in my longing for cloudy, rainy afternoons and in my dislike of Daylight Savings Time, an exercise in which the clocks are set ahead in order to induce an illusion of putting off the darkness. I take solace in believing that some, such as you the reader, might concur with me in my love of gloomy afternoons and the long nights of autumn and winter.

Photo Source: Gothic Pictures Gallery. Author unknown.