Just walked to the post office. Snow has begun to fall - apparently we are going to be slammed with an inch or two. :-) The Wilmore snow removal pickup truck races past me and I can feel the driver's excitement. I don't share it. Cold takes one by surprise when there is no wind. First the bridge of my nose feels frozen under my glasses, then the tops of my ears. Ah, I say to myself, Perhaps it IS cold.
I go from the post office to Solomon's Porch, the local coffee shop. My feet slip and I almost fall when I go in the door. Water lays smattered on the painted cement floor. The woman serving me has a toque on her head (down here they call it a toboggan.) It is cold and uninviting in the shop. I sit with my hot coffee on a chair that is too long in the seat to be comfortable. I say hi to David.
A small fear creeps into my heart asking me if I am crawling toward depression. We are old adversaries, depression and I. Experience has made a large deposit of respect and well, fear in my soul regarding this enemy. I am vigilant.
The opposite of depression is not happiness. The opposite of depression is vitality.
Each of us must become aware and learn to possess our selves in this regard. What I mean by that is simple. I must watch my own life, and constantly take steps to adjust my journey back toward wellness. Learning what choices are personally life-giving and actively pursuing those things - this is my personal responsibility.
I know that when winter hits I must stand guard over my own soul. Vitality is a good measure of wellness. When vitality flags I can make choices to help myself: meditation, journal writing, quietness and sufficient rest, taking on small but productive tasks, exercise, giving care to my grooming, seeking out friends, getting a great novel from the library, and so on. Your list will be different.
Vitality is about having the energy to participate in life. Long ago I realized that winter was too long to lose my vitality during its darkness. But it is a struggle with my own soul, every year.