Dying a little

Last year I noticed a growing anxiety at this time of the year and, now that I've awoken from anxious dreams, I'm wondering if it isn't to do with the shortening days. Wondering if I'm that disconnected from the changing of the seasons that I've never recognised their effect before.

With spring it's an obvious sense of life unfurling, whereas autumn is a slower process of death and decay. The leaves gradually change colour -- and that's only the imported trees, those deciduous ones that are part of a human-built environment in Australia.

Last year I was very aware of death as I spent Easter thinking about a dead woman. It was the first time I'd really pondered death at that time of the year, which is another sign of my disconnectedness. Being an atheist means not thinking too much about the symbolism of Easter, yet here was an event that prompted me to think on it.

I started to wonder about the significance of Stephanie's death and saw a myriad of ways that people were reflecting on it, from putting yellow around the town or hanging out their wedding dresses. It suddenly brought a morbid focus to a lot of things.

Today it was explained to me why Easter changes date each year. I could see that anchoring it to the full moon after the equinox makes it a seasonal event. and that it is an ideal time for camping as the last glow of summer fades. Camping seems like a good idea too as it would take me away from the usual distractions like Facebook that generally only amplify whatever mood I share with friends.

Those studies that suggest that people feel depressed when they see friends feeling depressed suggest that I shouldn't start reflecting on my morbid mood on Facebook. Yet I'm aware that there is a gap in my life for something that reaffirms life at this time of the year.