The Grey Season


There’s a saying here in Pittsburgh.  “There are only two seasons, winter and construction.”  Although comedic, it is partially correct.  I say partially because winter doesn’t really accurately describe the season correctly.

When someone thinks of winter, they think of the glistening white snow.  That’s not quite the case.  When winter begins to move upon us, we don’t just know it by the chill in the air when the wind kicks up.  Suddenly, the sun is lost behind thick layers of smoke colored clouds.  There doesn’t have be precipitation, but there is an endless, dreary overcast sky.

The clouds darken when the freezing rain comes.  Eventually, it will turn to snow.  However, it is not the pristine white, untouched snow you see on the hillsides.  It is grey, dirty slush, on an concrete sidewalk, and packed against the blacktop roads. The precipitation darken the buildings, and everything is enveloped in shadows.

It’s best described in a personal journal entry below.

“February 23, 2010
‘Tomorrow, when I inspect the world outside my window in the light of the morning, it will be blanketed with snow.  A vast, endless landscape of white.  The ground, the rooftops, and even the sky will be varying shades of grey – monochrome, bitter, lifeless, and uninviting.'”

This is Pittsburgh's third season. The Gray Season.

I have felt grey over the past few days.  I can’t feel for a better word.  Something like, my flame isn’t burning as brightly. It’s a dampening effect, casting a shadow over me everywhere I go.  The vibrant colors of the world filter and leave only the grey inside of me.

I worry.  Is this the start of another depressive episode.  It doesn’t feel like depression.  It feels like blah.  It’s not as if I am despondent or lifeless. Jokes are still funny, and I still feel like getting up in the morning. I’m not crying. My world still operates normally.

It’s just as if everything has lost that little something. There’s no spring in my step. The sun is behind the clouds and only dim light filters through, both literally and figuratively. Everything is dull. I find myself becoming less enthusiastic and more disinterested.

I have ideas, but none that I am passionate about. I read things and find it difficult to find something constructive to add. Or interesting, for that matter. Moments are moving slower. Sounds are turning to whispers.

I can’t hear the rain on my roof.

I am afraid to move or speak. I don’t want to upset the balance. It is a careful balance on the scales that I work so hard to maintain. I have to shake the rain out of my hair, off my coat. I can’t stand the clouds, casting shadows onto me.

Where’s my fire? I seemed to have misplaced my fire.

I’m going to go check the medicine cabinet.

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11 thoughts on “The Grey Season

    • I’ve often pondered if the seasons really do affect me.

      I love fall. It’s my favorite time of year! The weather is just getting cooler so I can breathe and my skin doesn’t go up in flames when I go outside. (I’m really fair skinned). I love the clothes; the leathers and the snuggly fabrics. And my favorite holidays happen in the fall. Halloween! – the one day a year that you can legitimately pretend to be someone or something else and get handsomly rewarded for it. And the ultimate gluttony of Thanksgiving.

      It really doesn’t start getting to me until the landscape has been changed for too long. The dead of winter.

      Ok, here’s the question. Seasonal affect, environmental factors, or residual memories? I’ve spent two winters without heat. They weren’t consecutive, but they weren’t very pleasant either. I also use busses to get where I need to go. I’ve waited for late busses in knee deep snow more than once.

      Maybe both contribute to the dread of the upcoming seasonal changes.

  1. I live in Arizona and we have the opposite problem. Hot unbearable summers leaving one unable to leave the house, giving off the same feeling of hopeless isolation, sans snow and grayness.

    I hope you’re well. I understand the “blah” feeling and the anxiety it brings about at the thought of a depressive episode.

  2. I live in Canada and pretty much the entire country is construction and winter, so I feel ya!

    I wish I could say something else about how you’re feeling, but there’s times when I feel like that myself…

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