A. Mann for all Seasons


For millions of people, the depths of winter bring on a condition known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a form of depression caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus due to the shortening of daylight hours and lack of sunlight. I’m fortunate not to be a sufferer of SAD, probably partly due to the fact that my life is split between looking after my 22 month old daughter and writing, both of which allow me to venture out and catch what daylight and sunshine there is at this time of year in the northern hemisphere. That said, I have become aware of a more general dis-ease this year, which I have never experienced before, an ironic LOSAD (Lack of Season Affective Disorder). I’ve yet to have need of my winter coat, never woken to so much as a frost that required me to scrape the windscreen of my car, let alone seen a covering of snow or the local pond over-ice. Much as I long for the first flowers of Spring, I want them in Spring not mid-January! I genuinely feel uneasy about the lack of winter season here in the UK – a deep down, at-the-core-of-my-being dis-ease. I feel out of step with nature, because nature appears to be out of step with itself. And that has led to what I can only describe as a spiritual disequilibrium within me. This week, the paperback edition of the Stern Report: The Economics of Climate Change is released. I’ll no doubt get around to reading this important report. But what about the affects of climate change on the economy of the soul? I need the natural seasons as much, if not more, than I need the seasons of Advent and Easter. Come ghost of Vaughn Monroe, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow.