November. The days have become shorter, the temperatures noticeably lower. The November blues are in the air. Social contacts are reduced, restaurants and cafes remain closed. If you live in the country like me, then it is also the conversations between neighbors about the fence that become less frequent.
The plots are quite large and the spaces between the houses are generous. It can happen that you don't see anyone for days. At some point it goes to the substance. It gnaws at the psyche. Not so much that you have to go without eating in the restaurant. Or not meeting friends for coffee.
It's like lead in the air
But the situation in principle. The eternal caution, the keeping of distances. The discipline with which one observes hygiene rules. Already for self-protection. Lockdown 1.0 was even more playful. A new experience mixed with curiosity and some adventure.
Lockdown 2.0 is darker, harder, like lead in the air and over the land. That has to do with the coming winter, with the November blues, which one has more or less every year. What helps is running. Get out into nature whenever you can. In any weather and regardless of the time of day.
I like running in the early evening. When dusk comes, the mist creeps up from the valleys. It is the quiet time. Most of the walkers have disappeared and are at home in their warm apartments. Then you have the world almost to yourself. A man, a dog and endless spaces.
Drive away the November blues
Running helps. Clear your head and straighten out the November blues. Our time is anything but easy. That is clear. Social contacts cannot be reduced permanently. Man is a herd animal. Only very few can be alone with themselves.
In addition, there may be economic fears, concerns about health and about friends and family. At some point you catch yourself dreaming of masks and minimum distances at night.
To get through time, it is helpful to recognize what you have. Almost everyone has had dark moments in life that were harder than what we have to go through today. The personal challenges, the feeling of standing on the edge.
It was exactly 10 years ago that I had such a moment. I was in the hospital. A major operation behind me, an extensive ordeal ahead of me. Not great prospects. Coupled with a feeling of helplessness and powerlessness. In the morning, when the day slowly drove away the night, I could watch workers from my bed on the roof of the building opposite.
It was just getting dark when they were already there. It was cold outside, it was drafty. November in Upper Franconia, which is harder and rougher than on the climatically spoiled Lower Main. The workers, who probably came from the Balkans or from eastern states, renovated the opposite roof. A backbreaking job and not one that you really want to do.
In those days, it was the best job in the world for me. Because I would have given everything if I had been able to leave the station and refurbish the old, ailing roof.
Well, my private contacts are limited. Eating out, meeting in the pub, drinking coffee. Everything is obsolete. But i am free. A man, a dog and endless spaces. In the twilight in the country, where the fox and the rabbit say good night.
And seen that way, that's amazingly good.