It finally happened!

A west coast Canadian winter is brutal for someone who suffers from depression, like me. From the end of October, to the middle of April it seems as if we have a never-ending succession of storms and rain. The town in which I live has towering mountains several thousand feet high on all sides. It’s a narrow valley at the head of Canada’s southern-most fjord. The clouds funnel in, up the narrow inlet, and settle in like a grey, gloomy blanket. The mountains are hidden, and if you had never seen them, you would think that they did not exist. Then there is the rain. The seemingly, never-ending rain. Torrential rain. Buckets of water pouring from the skies. Those are the days that make me wonder if I should build an ark – or at least a really big canoe, to be safe. Even the dog looks outside and shakes his head. The darkness comes early, and night settles in like a cold, damp blanket over our homes. There is very little comfort as I walk the cold, dark streets. The rain can last for weeks without a break. My depression mirrors the weather outside. My mood is gloomy, dark, and grey. I often wonder why I moved back to this place where I grew up. I think of an escape plan, a way out again.

Then, something remarkable happens. Something so subtle, that I hardly notice at first. After the darkest, coldest days of January and February the days seem a little brighter, a little longer. Even under the canopy of grey, it seems a bit brighter. Slowly, but surely, change is coming. The increasing daylight is a gentle reminder of the timeless truth that the giver of all life on our planet Earth is once again coming back, bringing its life-giving warmth and light.

March comes in like a lion. Wind. More rain. Late winter snows. But, along with the winds and rains, it gets brighter, and warmer. As I walk the dog, I begin to notice something else. Tiny green shoots poking through the damp soil. New life is beginning to appear. Tiny buds appear on cold, lifeless branches. The sun, still on its journey northward in the sky, begins to appear, peeking through the clouds, bringing warmth and warming my spirits on the inside. The cold, dark, gloomy rain filled days of winter are relinquishing their icy grip to the fresh, breezes of spring.

It finally happened. Easter weekend, 2012. As I walked down the streets, suddenly, flowers are in full bloom. Freshly released leaves are basking in the first real warmth of spring. Even the dog has a fresh spring in his step. People return to the streets. Walking. Gardening. Playing. Everyone is happy and smiling. How ironic that all this should happen on Easter weekend. I am no longer a religious person. But, whether one is a believer or not, the message is the same – the life-giving sun has once again returned, bringing the promise of new life and new hope.

Have a wonderful spring!