New Englanders hit bottom in March.
It’s hard to get out of bed, hard to get motivated, hard to be nice to the people we know, and hard not to punch the people we don’t. We’re vitamin D-deficient, we don’t remember what sunlight looks like, and we’re still broke from the holidays. The last time most New Englanders moved was when they walked from the table to the couch at Thanksgiving. 1
This is all completely natural. The word “natural” has gotten a way better rep than it deserves. Sure, babies and puppies are natural, but so are cavities and cancer. It just so happens that the mental-, economic-, emotional-, psychosocial-clustercuss we trudge through every winter is completely, 100% natural.
Back before plumbing was a thing and before the combustion engine and electricity opened the door for wacky inventions like the “balanced diet,” people 2 spent winter eating cheap, fat-storing starches and struggling to keep warm. Long before March arrived all the nutritious food was gone. For months, folks were hungry. They were cold. It was dark. People whittled, slept, shat, and tried to keep babies alive.
And back then, as now, the snow slowly started to melt. Before the last of the ice was gone, the first crocus popped. Then the second. A lettuce leaf shot out of the soil, bellwether of the nutritional orgy to come. People opened their windows. They took baths. They enthusiastically ate green things. They began to move their bodies, working off months of cabin fever repairing damaged homes and sowing seeds.
Today, each and every one of us is walking around depressed, stressed, broke, starving for fresh food, disconnected from our bodies and sick of everyone else’s shit. Let’s face it – beneath all the creature comforts that act as a buffer between us and the natural world, we’re just animals living in New England.
And in March, New Englanders hit bottom.
And when you’ve hit bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.
So join me, neighbors. Let’s band together and survive the last few weeks of this absurd season. I won’t punch you if you won’t punch me.