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.
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.