Montreal Gazette

LOOKING FOR LIGHT INTHE DARKEST, SHORTEST DAYS

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

- 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 ??
ILLUSTRATI­ON MARIE CUFFARO

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