They call it SAD and it’s worse during the deep winter months. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a depression caused by the lack of sunshine during the winter.

It’s not terribly serious (suicide rates do NOT spike during the dark time of year, contrary to popular myth) but being aware of your personal susceptibility to it is important for year-round mellowness.

That kind of self-knowledge is just one part of whole wellness, a new definition of health, as explored by Christie Marcy in her story Mind-Body Connection (p.70).

Utah’s legislature has its own ideas about health, expressed in the new blood alcohol limits that go into effect at the end of December. (p. 78) But they don’t seem to be acquainted with or affected by SAD or they would do something about Salt Lake City’s air, which blocks out as much daylight as the season does. SAD is probably why so many people travel in the first months of the year. (For Marcy, a trip to sunny Mesquite, Nevada, was a cheerer-upper, though I suspect it was because of her encounter with camels there. (p. 42).

The point is, to be well doesn’t just mean you’re not ill—self-understanding can be as effective as a pill in some cases. Understanding and cooperation with others would make us all feel better, as publisher John Shuff points out in his My Turn (p. 144).

Of course, after the general world-wide ugliness of 2018, a lot of us might feel sad, whether we have a disorder or not. Let’s hope light returns, as the birds will (see p. 28), metaphorically as well as actually, in this spring of 2019.

Lux fiat, as the Lord said in the Latin Vulgate Bible.

Let there be light.

Mary Brown Malouf