Harvesting the Blues #Haibun #dVerse

I have just learned from tonight’s dVerse prompt that both the harvest moon and a blue moon await us this October. Well, that shows how much I know about the moon, or the harvest for that matter. I thought I’d already seen the harvest moon this year. I cannot claim to be over moon-aware, but I do wonder: do the phases of the moon affect us? Probably there’s no scientific evidence to say they do (there never is, for anything that provides poetic inspiration, is there?) but it’s an enticing idea. In tune with the moon. Howling at the moon: gone mad, lunatic.

I used to suffer very badly from depression at this time of year, which some call ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder,’ often appropriately initialised to ‘S.A.D.’ The three months leading up to Christmas were like a dark tunnel I went into, beginning in October which is when I lost my mother many years ago. Since then I lost my Grandmother in December, and a year later my sister in the same month. The tunnel grew darker.

Moving to Spain seemed to clear up my ‘S.A.D.’ I guess all that sunshine during the daylight hours really made a difference. For the first time in 4 years, this year I will experience a genuine cold dark Winter. How will I find it? A good test of my resolve to find the happiness and light within, whatever the external circumstances:

October moons may
Harvest blue awakenings
Cast sorrows away

Frank J. Tassone is our host over at dVerse for Haibun Monday: to the Moon! today. He explained that we are due both a harvest moon (1st October, though it normally falls in September) and a blue moon (on Halloween night!) this month.

Photo by samer daboul from Pexels

70 thoughts on “Harvesting the Blues #Haibun #dVerse

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  1. I find the darkness of the three months ahead overwhelming… it has just started, and just maybe I need to go out and sip some moonlight just to keep sane. I hope you manage the darkness where you are (cold is probably not as bad)…

    1. It must be harder for you as you are further North. I would really struggle with that amount of darkness, though I’m quite happy with the cold!

  2. Oh I love that Ingrid adn I’m so sorry for all 3 losses. So smart of you to move to inprove S.A.D.
    I love your poetry pointing to casting it away. I am rooting for a magical Blue moon, to harvest your soul!!!❤️🤗🤗❤️ xo Cindy

  3. The phases of the moon definitely have an effect on us, especially women as menstruation is linked to the cycles of the moon, although the pill and other chemicals have messed that up for us. S.A.D. is difficult to come to terms with, and even more so when you have loss to cope with too. I’m glad that living in Spain has made a difference – it has to be better than using one of those lamps. I love the thought of ‘blue awakenings’, Ingrid.

  4. This is incredibly raw with honesty. You are a strong and beautiful soul that shines through your writing. More power to you! 💝

  5. When you add the loss of loved ones to the loss of sunlight you’ve got a double-whammy challenge to try to overcome. Being aware of it is a big hurdle already overcome. Best wishes in cultivating your warmth, peace, and light within.

    1. I think it is more common to experience blues in January. For me, this is a time of renewal – I see the snowdrops peeping through the grass and I have a birthday in February which gives me something to look forward to, and I know that spring is just around the corner!

  6. When I was off birth control I used to ovulate around the full moon and my period was around the new moon. So I do believe we are linked to the moon. And when I lived in the UK, I met an English mom who also had moved to spain due to SAD. I remember it did have shorter days up there in the winter and I can definitely understand it. Lovely post. I didn’t know about the harvest moon nor the blue moon this month either. I just see it if I see it usually. Though I see it less where I am now. There are so many trees, which is also nice.

    Oh, and I love your poem. So much. :)) I agree, blue can symbolize awakening too. Hugs. :))

    1. Thank you so much, Lia! It’s not surprising if we’re affected by the moon given that our bodies contain so much water. I remember in a previous job which was public facing, let’s just say the members of the public used to ‘act up’ more during a full moon!

  7. I’m with you on this Ingrid. This whole SAD thing has been with me my whole adult life, though (thankfully) not debilitatingly so. And your haiku does seem like a statement of hopeful resolve. Well done.

  8. I too struggle with SAD. Perhaps, it’s the poet in me. Wisconsin has six months of winter and short daylight. I try to get involved with family, a project, my bible and spend time in the sauna. A walk during the day also bring relief and lot of vitamins D. Hope it goes well for you.

  9. I suppose that what makes it worse is the inability to have a holiday in a warmer climate which is impossible these days. So the best thing would be to plan for something that might take your mind off the seasons and everything else.

    1. I’m actually trying to appreciate the seasons while not getting overwhelmed by the darkness, though a holiday in the Bahamas wouldn’t go amiss!

  10. This is a great piece Ingrid. I understand your S.A.D. The dying of the light can most certainly leave one melancholy. For me, I love melancholy, so this time of year, Halloween > Thanksgiving > Christmas > New Years, feels like a snuggled intimate embrace. But as January unfolds, the weight of sadness sets in for me, squelching the wonderful melancholy. When it gets too heavy, I pretend I have crawled under the covers, for a peaceful sleep. Excellent writing my friend.

    1. Embracing melancholy is a fine idea! I think January blues are more common. I find Christmas an ordeal sometimes, so I’m always relieved to ‘make it’ through to January and the New Year’s awakening.

  11. I like your dispassionate analysis of the moon and our own sorrow. We share some of the same feelings. I sink in the cold months and have to start on the medication, mild depression brought on as a special bonus with a rare disease, and I lost my mother in October too.
    Maybe we’re influenced by the moon in a positive way, and the sun in a negative way—when it’s not there, we suffer.

      1. Like you, my mother died years ago. The hole is still there though.
        The depression is only ever mild and it depends on temperature more than sunshine. Just have to try to keep warm 🙂

  12. I totally believe the moon affects our moods/ behaviour!

    You have had a lot of significant losses over that period so it’s not surprising you have a down period … pray you can get through this one ok 🙂 Certainly sounds like you’ve developed more coping mechanisms and you’re smart enough to ask for support if you need it!

  13. Your candid haibun is very moving. I do hope the winter isn’t too difficult for you. 2020 is such a torrid year. I found our Australian winter extra challenging this year. Writing helps. Writing poetry helps even more. Meditating on inner light was what pulled me through our winter and I have developed a practice of daily meditation. When things get rough and I can’t calm down enough for mindfulness meditation I listen to guided meditations on Youtube. I find the can really lift my mood and clear my energy field in these difficult times.

    1. Thank you Suzanne – I’ve been doing yoga his too. I came to it through yoga and realised the meditation was helping more than the exercise, though I need that too!

  14. The moon is a beacon for these dark days…how well you capture that tunnel of the winter months. And this year to be spent in near-isolation. Wishing you a light that shines to take you to spring. (K)

  15. Your haibun is beautifully composed …. my youngest son suffers from S.A.D. and lives in Minnesota where winters are long, dark and frigid. My heart goes out to you ……

  16. Harvesting blue skies out of gathering darkness is a gift we give ourselves and others, as you have here in these beautiful lines.

  17. I love your use of the word ‘may’. It is tentative yet hopeful, and I love getting to see a little of the inspiration behind this piece of writing! No matter how I feel, writing a bit about my emotions always helps me more then I sometimes know. 🙂

  18. I’m sorry for your losses–and more so that they occurred when it was so dark and dreary. I hope the dark of winter is not too bad for you this year. Your haiku is beautiful, and it seems hopeful.

    When the days start getting so short and dark, I feel like bedtime is 5 in the afternoon, and I just want to hibernate. It must be so much worse even farther north.

    1. Thank you Merril – I have those hibernation yearnings too, but I will try to focus on the positives like my eldest son’s birthday which is coming up soon 😊

  19. Ingrid, my significant other used to suffer from SAD until he moved to Florida ten years ago. He said that lights did not help him, but some people do like them.

    I think I will never entirely get over the losses in my life, but the pain has gradually been replaced by the joy of memories. It has taken me some time to be able to write poems about those I have lost, especially my husband, who died nearly twenty years ago, but writing does bring me peace.

    You are very brave to leave Spain. I hope you fare OK. Enjoy your weekend. Cheryl

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