How many people experience the “dark days of February”?

For many years, I taught at a boarding school where every year the headmaster gave his “dark days of February” speech to students. It was during the month of February that students wanted to go home. Academic performance sometimes declined.  Students hated the school; hated the weather; said they were not coming back for the following school year; and generally entered into a psychological slump.  The purpose of the headmaster’s speech was simply to explain this yearly phenomenon and to let students know that these “dark days” would pass, and spring would come again.  Invariably, as warmer weather returned so, too, did the students’ feelings of optimism about themselves, the school, and their own futures.

At Spring graduation, a happy student, Kim Huynh, (left), me, and Kim's mother who came from Vietnam for the high school graduation.
At Spring graduation, a happy student, Kim Huynh, (left), me, and Kim’s mother who came from Vietnam for the high school graduation. (Photo from


This year, no longer working full time and suffering from a six-weeks-long illness, I’ve thought about those “dark days” this February.  The weather has been snowy or just cold and rainy.  Unable to get out and take photos, I’ve taken what I could from my kitchen window.






And I’ve found amazing beauty at the bird feeder.











Yesterday, I stepped out on the back deck and took this photo of a pileated woodpecker.

The days may be dark and cold and rainy, but we always are surrounded by the beauty of nature.

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14 thoughts on “Beauty In the “Dark Days of February”

  1. Yes ma’am! I had Dean Booth’s voice stuck in my head the other day due to a fellow classmate’s post on quoting the same thing about the “dark days of February”. I love the photos that you have posted. I have been very busy with Caden and just life in general. February is my son’s birth month, along with my brother in law, cousin, my parents, an aunt and four close friends. March tends to be a quiet month birthday wise, but Passover and Easter are early this year. 🙂


  2. Hi Deb (Debbie)! I enjoy your blog posts and pictures. I especially like “the dark days of February” because it so perfectly describes this time of year for me. I hope you’re feeling better. Take care, Peg (Peggy Sue)


    1. Thank you, Peg. And thanks for following my blog… It’s amazing to me how many of my former students say they think back to the “dark days of February” speech whenever they get into a winter slump… I am feeling much better and am totally over the respiratory illness. The antibiotic caused tendonitis (amazingly) in both knees and one shoulder (don’t ever take Levaquin), but all of that is much better now, too.


  3. Hi, Just stopping over from Nick’s All Things Geography (which I love!). I really like this post. I’ll take away two things – one, the dark days will pass. And two, there is great beauty in those dark days – you got wonderful shots from the window.


    1. Thank you so much. Those dark days have ended literally and figuratively. When I posted that, I had been ill for six weeks, had experienced an adverse reaction to medication, and wondered if I’d ever feel better. Taking those photos helped me see the positive in what I was experiencing. Thanks for stopping by! (I love Nick’s blog, too!)


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