No, it's not a sunset depression. It's my Seasonal Affective Disorder. I guess it took longer to kick in this year because of all the Saskatchewan sunshine I basked in for the month of October. Well, it's faded now. Coming up to the shortest day of the year and the sky in Toronto is pretty bleak. I guess I could stand the bleakness outside if I weren't so bleak inside, also inert and lethargic. Everything is a struggle. Funny thing is, the darkness didn't affect me like this the Christmas I spent in Iceland. It felt Dickensian there, although, of course there was electric light and all the facilities. I had decided I wanted to experience the shortest day in the year in Iceland. I went with my cousins who had great contacts - and more relatives than I had because they and their families never married outside of the blood line. My mother was born in Canada, of course, but she was the first of her family to marry outside of the genetic line and her children (my brother and I) followed suit. Anyway, I felt quite at home in the darkness there. I shopped in Reykjavik on the 20th of December. At 9 a.m. it was still dark and all the shops had little kerosene "bombs" on the street at their doors, putting light at our feet in addition to the Christmas lights overhead. Did you know that all the cemeteries in Iceland are wired for light. Each grave has a tiny wooden cross (I admit, it's pretty partisan), lighted only for the Christmas season. It's comforting up close, no matter what your belief or denomination, and it's beautiful from afar. I had a glow inside me. We went to Akureyri for Christmas, but we were in Brekke, a couple of fjords over, for the shortest day, and I spent the evening in a sod house, almost the only one extant now and certainly the best maintained - as a museum. I was actually researching the next book I was writing (LETTERS TO ICELANDERS: EXPLORING THE NORTHERN SOUL). It was cold. It wouldn't have been so cold when the place was inhabited, because of body heat, both human and animal. Then, in Hofsos, we went to brunch with cousins' cousins. I washed the dishes while the others spoke Icelandic, which I do not. We came out about 12:30, midday, as the sun was rising. We went with another cousin to his place overlooking a fjord, and drank coffee while we watched the sun set, about 1:30. And I didn't feel sad. I miss my fireplace. That's not all I miss but all I can admit to. Light a candle for me. Keep the darkness at bay.