There's just something about mid-February that lends itself to thinking.
As in 'too much' thinking.
I received a message from an old friend the other day filled with soul-searching topics, the kind you really need to flesh out over a beer or two... or three. I could relate, as I've scratched on a few of those questions myself in the past few weeks.
Chalk it up to the seasonal landscape. Simply put, there is something about winter, especially late winter, that musters up deep thoughts.
First is the quiet. Summer is filled with ambient noise, kids playing, birds chirping, motorcycles thumping, water lapping... all pleasant sounds that reflect life.
Walk outside on a February night and you immediately are swallowed up by cold, hard silence. Close your eyes, and you literally can hear your own heart pound. The lack of sound leaves plenty of psychic open space to fill in with brain activity. An active brain goes searching for things to think about, and more than occasionally those big 'life questions' come up.
The barren, lonely landscapes we pass through for months on end just add to the melancholia. The blues may have gotten their start down south, but we northerners know a thing or two about the sickening-depressing-lowdown-mind messin' trudging through the winter blues (my apologies to the late Jim Croce for stealing that one'). It's an aching sadness not powerful enough to paralyze, but easily able to make one ponder endlessly.
It's a case of the blues that may be good for writing emo songs, but not much good for being a productive, optimistic citizen.
In the old days, my friend and I would climb in a news rig and spend a couple hours on the way to and from a story hammering through topics, exchanging dime-store philosophy and coming to conclusions that would at least keep the doubts away for a short while.
He's now a rancher, and I don't get on the road much anymore so I have to seek other solutions to this seasonal brain drain.
Like hoping spring comes... fast.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)