Even here in mild Northern California, I have trouble dealing with the darkness and cold at this time of year. I know that sounds wimpy, but I think I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and need more hours of daylight to feel like my usual cheerful self. This year hasn't been too bad. I've been helped by the bumper crop of persimmons on my backyard tree.
Many of these have been picked and eaten like apples or given away to friends. Still, dozens hang stubbornly, high in the branches, serving a host of birds who squabble loudly over the ripest, mushiest fruit.
Today in the rain, birds were sheltering in more protected roosts, but the orange globes glowed in the dark day, cheering me up as I looked down from my studio window.
Tomorrow is the winter solstice: the shortest day and the longest night of the year. From then on the light will gradually lengthen each day and I will feel my heart lifting with it. The persimmons will help.