Passions are running high in my little town. Dogs were recently banned from the Saturday farmers’ market, bringing some customers back but alienating others. A proposed library bond issue has brought additional heated debate, complicated by the mysterious decision to furlough the library director — no reason given. The school board just voted to eliminate the “Redskins” name, causing some to invoke 1930s Nazi Germany (I’m not kidding).
Even my volunteer day at the public theatre office seemed more manic and chaotic than usual…and given that we’re talking “theatre,” that’s saying something. I’m used to a level of drama in the office, and most of the time I’m amused by it. Yesterday was not one of those days. I don’t blame my co-workers, I’m just saying that I felt bombarded and exhausted by the crackling ADD energy in the building.
I blame it on the sunlight.
At the height of the solstice here on the Olympic Peninsula, we have more than sixteen hours of official sunlight. Our current sunrise is at 5:11 a.m., but stumble out at 4:30, and it’s plenty light already. I have blackout curtains in the bedroom and have added a sleep mask, but I still can’t seem to get enough sleep. Somewhere in the night my eye mask slipped off, so my eyes popped open at 5:00 a.m. to a bright, cheerful room. There’s.no.escape.from.the.cheerfulness.
Last year, when I complained to someone, he said, “It’s okay. You’ll sleep in the winter.” He’s right. I did. But winter is a while away, and I don’t want to wish away a glorious summer. Each day, I’m picking handfuls and sometimes bowlfuls of fresh strawberries. The cherries are ripe, and the blueberries and tomatoes are starting to turn. I love walking around without a jacket, and flinging open doors and windows to let in fresh air is a slice of heaven.
I just want to feel rested.
It’s possible that I will get more accustomed to the extreme swings of light as I live here longer. I also know that in January, when the darkness never seems to end, I will dream of idyllic summer days. I’m just wondering, though…we know about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which can cause depression in winter. Is there an equivalent for summer, when we have so much light that we get beyond energized and move into frenzy? How about GLAD (Good Lord Another *long* Day) or HAPPY (Heaps and Plenty *of* Peel-Me-Off-The-Ceiling Yes) or BLISS (Big Longing In Search of Sleep)?
Well, maybe not.
I doubt anyone would take this disorder seriously. Certainly, one can look around at the nation, regardless of season, and know that passions are inflamed on a daily basis. Still, it seems as good an explanation as any. We’ll see what happens in a month or two, as the days get noticeably shorter.