This time of year depresses me — literally — with its dark mornings and uniform bleakness of the terrain. It’s not the deep despair of my bipolar depression, but a constant sense of flatness, of anhedonia, of just wanting to stay in bed. The festivities of Christmas that buoyed up my spirits have long passed; all now is grey.

My psychiatrist has prescribed 1 hour a day in my grow room for light therapy. There’s plenty of light in the small basement room, supplied by eight fluorescent light fixtures. And, although it’s a small room, there’s a table and chair where I can sit and even an old iPad I use to maintain my plant records.

And then there’s the plants. Right now, I have starts of herbs like hyssop and calamint, celery leaf and Asian celery, and my tomatoes and peppers popping out of the ground. For the most part, they’re tiny seedlings with their seed leaves no bigger than a baby mouse’s ear. But they’re alive, and I almost believe I can feel the light of their lives brightening my day.

In the gloom of this season, I will take all the light I can get.

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