Breakfast in the cold and dark has no appeal, but offer breakfast in the cold and light, and I’m in. In fact, I’ll make it and haul it out into the sun and snow.
That short spell of winter when I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark is over. There is now an hour or more of daylight, vibrant colors, and bright sun casting long black shadows before I need to head out. I am up as soon as it is light, not wanting to miss a minute of it. It sure is cold, though. This morning is was three degrees. The adage, “as the days lengthen the cold strengthens” is being proven.
At first, the longer days allow for a quick walk or yoga before work. But as the sun comes up earlier, there is time for breakfast outside, too. I breakfast outdoors in the summer as well, but in the winter I bundle up and rush out to poke my face at the sun like a landed fish gasping for water. I am not alone.
The drive to turn our faces to the sun is common. Hundreds of studies suggest that sunlight makes us happy. Lack of sunlight has been pinpointed as the cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder, with its perfect acronym SAD, whose symptoms include depression and moodiness. I never suffer from it, but I do get all pumped up and energized at camp, when my sun consumption increases.
There were just a few puffy clouds in the sky, and no wind—a perfect day for breakfast outside. It was also perfect because I had breakfast ready made—a plump apple-cheddar pancake and a slice of poached pear with pickled cranberries and Gorgonzola cheese from the day before. I added some whipped cream and a cup of hot chaga milk, put it all on a tray, and off we went.
What a simple pleasure it was to start our day sitting with the sun on our faces and sweet flavors in our mouths. We just sat and absorbed whatever it is our bodies need to make Vitamin D and get our serotonin and melatonin to the happy mood level. We noticed the wingtip marks of a crow in the snow, and heard two ravens calling overhead. A coyote and deer had wandered by during the night, but probably not together.
It isn’t every morning we do this, perhaps once a week, but on those days I carry a sun smile my face all day long.