LOOKING FOR LIGHT INTHE DARK­EST, SHORT­EST DAYS

WHEN DUSK COMES BE­FORE DIN­NER, WE CAN FALL INTO A FUNK UN­LESS WE DO SOME­THING ABOUT IT

Montreal Gazette - - WEEKEND LIFE - STEPHANIE WHIT­TAKER SPE­CIAL TO THE GAZETTE

t’s al­ways on sched­ule. As soon as peo­ple set their clocks back an hour in Novem­ber, Stephane Ben­sous­san’s of­fice phone rings a lot more of­ten. “Novem­ber and De­cem­ber are a busy time for psy­chol­o­gists,” says Ben­sous­san, a psy­chol­o­gist with a prac­tice in Kirk­land, who’s at his busiest in the win­ter.

In the north­ern hemi­sphere, th­ese are dark months, and it is the dark­ness that sends peo- ple into states that range from mild melan­cho­lia to out­right de­pres­sion.

You never hear any­one rhap­sodize about Novem­ber and De­cem­ber. There’s a good rea­son peo­ple get mar­ried in June. June is a great month with all that won­der­ful sun­light and warmth. But Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, in the run-up to the win­ter sol­stice, Dec. 21 – the short­est day of the year – are no bar­rel of laughs. They’re chilly, damp and driz­zly. There’s a bar­ren­ness about the world once all the leaves have been blown off the trees. Only the hardi­est souls carry on with cycling and run­ning. And it’s still too early to throw one­self into out­door win­ter pur­suits.

But by far, the worst thing about early win­ter is the dark­ness. Oh, sure, the weather gods dish up the oc­ca­sional mild and sunny day, but we’re get­ting a mere measly eight hours of sun­shine. I hate Novem­ber, and I’m not crazy about De­cem­ber, ei­ther, re­gard­less of the hol­i­day mer­ry­mak­ing.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION MARIE CUF­FARO

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