Hibernation by Misha Herwin


We all have favourite seasons. Mine is the mellowness of early autumn, when the days are still long and light and the trees burst out into vibrant scarlet, ochre, gold and russet. However ecological dubious, I still love a wisp of wood smoke in the air the dazzle of sunlight breaking through early morning mist.

Once the clocks go back it is a different matter. Winter is a time to hunker down, to withdraw into candlelight and cosiness. Unlike some of my friends who suffer from the lack of light and hate the long dark evenings that segue imperceptibly into what feels like a never ending night, I don’t dread the changing of the clocks. I simply accept that once they go back the tenor of my day changes.

The long dark days of winter, I’d rather stay at home than go out. A swift walk on a crisp December morning might tempt me, but why venture into a chilly night when I could be inside in the warm.

If I were a hedgehog or a bear, I’d hibernate, instead I get up a little later, linger longer over breakfast and generally slow down. Which is not in itself a bad thing, but with it comes a reluctance to get out there in the world. A reluctance that has become more pronounced since lockdown.

When we were first forbidden to go out, I thought I would use the time productively. As it turned out I was one of the writers who could still write. I didn’t find it difficult to sit at my desk, or to give up my drama group, or meeting friends for coffee, or even going to the theatre. In fact I adapted better than I could have imagined.

The problem came when, double jabbed and boosted, it was time venture out into the world again.

I’m doing it. I’m going to the supermarket, running a writing group for the U3A and most importantly seeing family and friends, but as the number of infections rise and the nights draw in, there is something very attractive about the idea of doing as bears do and hibernating until the sun shines again.


Reb MacRath said…
Lovely posts. I'm with you completely on winter, though next year where I plan to move will alter my feelings on that. Lovely, temperate winters...with no changing of the clocks!
Umberto Tosi said…
I'm with you! Daylight or standard, our bodies know when it's nap time! :D

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