Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Full of Grace

The winter here is cold and bitter
It's chilled us to the bone
We haven't seen the sun for weeks

Too long too far from home

I feel just like I'm sinking

And I claw for solid ground

I'm pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
And ohhh darkness I feel like letting go
If all of the strength and all of the courage
Will come and lift me from this place
I know I could love life much better than this
Full of Grace

Sarah Mclachlan
I thought that Sarah Mclachlan's song expresses very well how many people, who suffer from SAD, feel at this time of year.
Winters aren't that bad here in The Netherlands at least not the bitter part of it , but going without seeing the sun for weeks is quite normal. And not only during Winter as we, unfortunately, can also go without seeing the sun for weeks during all of the other seasons.
So having a October like the one we've just had feels like a reprieve, like receiving a pardon while on death row. This October was full of grace with so many glorious golden sunny days and I, for one, am grateful for it.
I haven't blogged much lately as I've been too busy soaking up the last warm rays of sunshine of this year. I hope you understand that I need to do this, this basking in the sun, to stave off the doldrums of SAD, at least for a little while longer even when it interferes with my blogging time.
Fortunately I do not suffer as much from SAD as Monty Don, former head presenter of Gardener's World, does as he is deeply depressed every year for months and months, the poor thing.
So, although I do not experience the Full Monty, it is bad enough to dread the coming of Autumn each year.
Sure, I keep active, be out and about whenever I can which isn't easy when you feel tired all the time, I have the special lamp, I eat healthy food, I use L-tryptofaan and try to stay as cheerful as I can.
Having a sunny disposition certainly helps and so does she,
my little Tara, who makes me smile with her joie de vivre, her lust for life, and who forces me to go outside for the much needed walkies when I don't feel like it.
And yes, the Bliss garden also provides grace from SAD, it is stuffed to the gills with it. It is good being a gardener, isn't it?

All the pics in this post were made in the Botanical Gardens of Utrecht recently, really worth a visit if you're ever in the neighbourhood.

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen


blessingsgoddess said...

Great pictures !

Hillside Garden said...

Klasse Fotos! Alle! Besonders der Hund - wie im Flug aufgenommen!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

We have had a repreve from the dark days lately. It has been wonderful to get out and about with the sun shining.

Of course Tara keeps you active outside. I think that is most important.

The rock wall in the one photo with the wire around it is interesting. The gardens look like a nice place to tour.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Yolanda .. girl, I want to say so many things here but I don't want to take up all of your space ? LOL
After living four years in South Limburg province and visiting so many beautiful places in your country .. I feel honoured to have such wonderful memories.
The winters had mood swings while we lived there .. from record breaking cold and having enough ice frozen for that fantastic skating race they can only hold with that kind of weather .. to rainy, rainy winters with no sun as you have said. The sun/tanning lamps glowed at night from all of the houses equipped with them .. that ! was also amazing to see ? LOL
Spring was my favorite time of year there .. absolutely gorgeous : )
I take L-Tryptophan too .. it does help and walkies ! even on the treadmill (because of our bitter winters) helps .. but seeing Tara and her complete and utter happiness .. now that is PERFECT medicine for those dull days : )
Thank you for stiring up all those wonderful memories for me : )

sophie munns said...

Wonderful post Yolanda... the melancholy, the beauty of the images, the song...

there must be something about that time of the year though...something taken away from you but something given too...because too much that is wonderful comes from these cold places with so much dark.
When i moved north of Sydney from Melbourne in 2000 in the middle of winter I celebrated the warmer climate by sitting in the backyard at night under the stars making phone calls to melbourne bragging about the warmth. However I hated the clarity of light at first and the constant sunny skies. After 12 years in Melbourne i actually missed the greys!

Now that I have even moved further north to more light and heat I really miss grey and drizzly days.

Aren't we funny creatures!

Take care and I hope you travel well through these colder, darker months Yolanda!
S x

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

You know, it's funny. I DO feel sad during winter (though don't know officially if it's SAD), but I always love fall--it is and has been my favorite season. A time tog ether stones together (as it were). P.S. Any song by Sarah M. makes me sad!! P.P.S. Love the photo of Tara flying in winter!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

So that's where my October went! I was wondering who stole it. At least it went to someone who really appreciated it.
I used to struggle with SAD, but it hasn't been so bad for me that last couple of years. Getting outside really helps. (I think it was all that snow shoveling that did it for me.) Tara is such a cutie, and your photo captured her spirit perfectly.

Birgit said...

Ich finde Deine Aufnahmen auch alle sehr schön. Die kleine Tara ist ein richtiger kleiner Sonnenschein. Ich glaube gern, dass sie Dir viel Freude bereitet. Es stimmt, so ein Hündchen zwingt uns nach draußen. Das fehlt mir, seit es unseren kleinen Westi nicht mehr gibt. Aber für Berufstätige sind Katzen besser geeignet. Ich liebe sie sehr und würde sie auch alle 3 nicht mehr her geben.
Liebe Grüße

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Wonderful pictures and a subject that I can relate to. We are going into the famous northwestern rain season here. I use every sunny moment to run outside, sit on a bench and absorb sunshine with my skin and my brains. The garden and my dog help a lot - you are so right in that! Thank you for this great post!

Annie in Austin said...

Hello Yolanda - lovely song and meditation on grace. Winters can be lovely here as long as one has a chance to get out in the middle of the day - we usually have many sunny days with temperatures above freezing. Winter SAD was much worse in Illinois - DH felt it very strongly.

Many people in TX have the summer version of SAD, instead, with depression and headaches from too much intense sun and heat and needing protection of air-conditioned vehicles and buildings.

May November also have its graces!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

easygardener said...

I sympathise. I feel like going to bed at 9pm - having sleepy cats rather than an energetic dog like Tara doesn't help either.

Gail said...

Once I thought I could live in the NW US but a few weeks of rain and I would be one cranky gardener! Tara is beautiful...and so were the garden photos! gail

Pam/Digging said...

Great picture of Tara! I'm glad you're able to stave off SAD with unusual October weather, YE. We in Austin often get SAD at the end of spring, facing another summer that will keep us indoors for several months. But we still have sunshine of course, so I doubt it's quite like what northerners go through in winter.

Arabella Sock said...

LOL! I am sitting with my SAD lamp on whilst I have my morning coffee and read the blogs. I would agree with easygardener about the sleepy cats if it wasn't for the fact that I have a kitten who only operates in two modes, total maniac requiring constant entertainment or completely crashed out. I'm finding the latter much easier to deal with at the moment.

guild-rez said...

The winter hasn't arrived yet..
There are flowers in the garden, beautiful grasses and I filled the first birdfeeder with sunflower seeds.
No SAD over here!!
Chickadees, Finches, Blue Jays, white-breasted Nuthutches and Woodpeckers transforming the garden and our cat has some entertainment too!!
Take care of cats and dog,
the optimist;)

Julia said...

Yes -- Sarah Mc. is Canadian and our winters are NO FUN. I remember it was a winter four years ago that led me to your blog in the first place, Yolanda -- because you had blooms while I still had four feet of snow! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy visiting Bliss and reading such interesting posts, with terrific photos!
I like autumn but from about now through to the New Year I'm not so keen on, especially if there's a lack of sunshine.
I do enjoy bright, crisp winter days when it's good to get out into the fresh air.
Take care, Flighty! xx

Anonymous said...

Dear YE, I am so sorry you suffer from that malady. When the sun does not shine, it makes a difference for us all. We need a certain amount of walkies every day ourselves. Tara is such a bundle of happiness, slightly different persona from the kitties, no? The botanical gardens are wonderful, a good place to add cheer to one's life. Those caged rocks are quite inspiring. I have seen them in the Austin blogs about their recent garden tours. Might look into it. Stay well. :-)

healingmagichands said...

Yolanda, get yourself a lightbox immediately. They are commonly used for sufferers of SAD and they actually do work. If you can't afford one, then make sure you have a couple of lamps in the room that you spend the most time in equipped with full spectrum bulbs.



Matron said...

A blog close to my own heart Yolanda! Today we have cold, bright sunshine so I spent a wonderful morning clearing up the gardens whilst at the same time topping up my own seratonin levels. Buddy also needs to be taken for a walk so today is a good day! Love to Tara xx

em said...

yolanda, well, i hope your wry sense of humor does not go on vacation this winter! i used a full spectrum light box for a while too, and it worked. my home office is in our sunroom, and being there works as well as the lightbox, if we get sun. i hope to see more great winter shots!

garden girl said...

Sarah McLaughlin's music has always touched me. I've been to a couple of her concerts where I was teary throughout, and felt cleansed and released after, especially in the last years of my first marriage. Very cathartic!

So glad autumn has been kind to you so far Yolanda. Thank you for your openness and honesty with this post.

I hope the rest of autumn, and the winter are kind to you.

Glo said...

Sending sunshiny thoughts and warm fuzzy hugs ~ I thoroughly enjoy your blog entries and just want you to know that you bring light and sunshine smiles to all who visit Bliss ~ Hi Tara ~:)

Mariella said...

hello, beautiful photographs. We notice that there is a general concern in the environment, and although it looks cozy winter to see those warm tones of the leaves and foliage paracer gray water, very beautiful.

best regards

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Beautiful as always, Yolanda Elizabet! And yet another way that the adorable little Tara is good for you, too. :)

I know that having Coco (who is half sled dog--so there's no telling HER it's "too cold to walk," lol) and working at a job where I have to be outside some in the winters, really does help. Even when the day doesn't seem sunny, being outside is a godsend. It makes you feel somehow like winter is less "that season when you're stuck inside going stir-crazy," and more "that season when you have to pile on lots of layers so you're not miserable while you're outside. :)

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