Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Seasonal affective disorder...

I think I am having the Ghanaian version of winter depression, excepting mine is associated with the harmattan. I think the weather is having an effect on several things, including my writing. My ideas are as dry as the scorched patches of earth that have appeared everywhere, and as fuzzy as the haze that greets one in the morning, encloses you during the day, and tucks you in at night. Omnipresent dust.

In the Netherlands I was always surprised by the term winter depression, until I spent enough years to realize that story book pictures aside the reality was that it was so cold often times you wanted to be anywhere but in the midst of that rain, fog and slush - which the snow eventually turns to. Who wouldn't be depressed? Granted, never quite got to that stage where I was depressed in the real sense of the word, but yes, did long for the longer, warmer days of summer that could be spent on the beach (which was close to our offices) and not huddled inside.

I think this harmattan is the worse I have experienced it since living here, and while I do like the chillier nights I really cant stand the dust and the haze. The smell of smoke has also become quite common place - and worrying. Every morning on the way into Accra there seems to be a new burnt patch of land. Last Sunday on the way back from Accra, there was a huge fire that was burning so close to the roadside that motorists were pulling over to the other side to avoid the flames that seem about to burst out onto the road itself, and the smoke which was by then limiting one's visibility. Not sure if they have been deliberately set to clear the land, or accidentally started. Either way is worrying though and am hoping we really won't have a case of one getting out of hand.

Anyway, will continue to fight grit with grit and trudge on to to the daily tasks, including writing.

11 comments:

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Welcome back, trade winds, dryness, winter, burning roadsides and all. You were missed.

posekyere said...

Perhaps, harmattan itself is depressed.Hehehe. The environmental condition of the globe is degenerating so fast that previously unknown phenomena are manifesting with catastrophic regularity and the ones that have been around are 'mutating' right in our face. The severity of harmattan this year, perhaps, stems from the emergence of other climatic factors in Ghana in this season of harmattan.
Let us hope the meeting on the environment in Copenhagen later this year will bring about a broad consensus to reduce greenhouse gases and salvage our battered planet.

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Just wondering if you realized that the acronym for your syndrome is SAD? Lol.

Maya said...

I've wondered about those scary fires too. Who'd be reckless enough to start them in such a dry season when even on TV we are constantly warned of bush fires during these times.

And I guess a harsher Harmattan is as much a result of global warming as the colder winters that have been seen in Europe this year. We're watching our world die...

And Nana Yaw, I think SAD was purposely chosen as the acroonym as it's so easy to remember. It's certainly better than TATT (tired all the time)!

Joitske Hulsebosch said...

gosh, I remember harmattan.. terrible when the wind blows but it doesn't rain. But I'm back to longing for spring!!

Denise said...

Hi Nana Yaw - yes, was a deliberate choice of title, the days were just depressing and cold. Change of weather and of course change of mood :-D

Denise said...

Posekyere, like you I hope they will get to some broad consensus. Alas, alas I won't hold my breath, but yes, will see

Denise said...

Hey Maya, I like TATT too! Will remember it in future

Denise said...

Hi Joitske, how is the weather in that side of the world? The harmattan was intense but short, so now we are back to the usual heat! Argh. Hope all is well and thanks for popping in.

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