I had a passing conversation with a familiar-ish fellow at the bar the other night, and he mentioned he was leaving the next day to go live and work in L.A. We discussed his plans a bit, and then he mentioned that having gone through one Michigan winter, he realized that he just couldn’t hang.
I gave my usual spiel about the wonderful world of aggressively bundling up, to the point where virtually no amount of cold can overwhelm. And that once sufficiently bundled, the unmatched wonder of the specially quiet air and beautiful slow fall of the flakes can be marveled over at will. It’s holy, really. I feel like I’d never leave Michigan.
He actually wholeheartedly agreed to all this winter-centric rallying, but said he realized that the seasonal depression linked to lacking sunshine has undone him. As will happen in random conversation (&why it’s so great), I came up with a hypothetical explanation of why so many people in Michigan find themselves depressed by the quantity of cloudy days.
I suggest it is a matter of natural equilibrium being upended. That the original consolation, and even remedy, for the potential sad-factor of consistent clouds. is meant to be the massive, towering trees of the old growth forests. That despite the lack of feel-good sunshine, humans benefited from the scientifically-proven existence of mood-enhancing pheromones that are constantly released by trees. In fact, these chemicals are incredibly complex and distinctive on species-by-species and even individual tree-by-tree levels.
So, unless we make a concerted effort to reap the many rewards of contact with the trees, we are missing out on the beneficial balances inherent to the natural world from which our every detail is composed.
Maybe without the trees, we can ultimately expect nothing but disconnect and depression. And yet, on we raze. Probably a better plan would be to literally plant the seeds of mental health. Assuming damns be given for future good. Stewardship of the earth is reciprocated by the care-taking of humankind. It’d be good to see mass shows of gratitude and rectification. Wouldn’t it?