This very strange year is getting closer to its end. As part of the yearly cycle this time of year is associated with harvest, preparing for winter and holiday celebrations. The days are cooler, animals growing fatter as they prepare for the winter months while farmers bring crops in and prepare their fields for a time of rest.

Closeup of top of pumpkin, with stem centered in picture

Meanwhile, our lives are filled with a different harvest, one of bad news. Hurricanes, and fires that rush by to be replaced with stories of people dying in a pandemic. Scandals, pictures of businesses closing while people hold protests, never settling long enough for us to grieve for these losses. Many people have days of feeling listless, numb, perhaps angry about the bad news and loss of control of their life.  I read this week of another name for this strange emotion, acedia. As described in the article, “A mind ‘seized’ by this emotion is ‘horrified’ at where he is, disgusted with his room… It does not allow him to stay still in his cell or devote any effort to reading.”*

Closeup of red pepper on plant, dried out and shrunken

I found it helpful to have a name for this feeling of boredom, listlessness and uncertainty. The name gives me a way to share with others, to find a way to connect during these troubling times. Sharing feelings can be the best tool for getting through each day, one step at a time.

So a quick reminder, there is a word to use to talk about what’s going on. With this starting point, the word acedia, hopefully it can help to share feelings and not feel quite so alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, most everyone will understand what you are going through and want to help. Just as you offer a helping hand to others who are having their own rough days.

Rows of corn that are are not full grown, with dirt showing in between the plants.

*From article Acedia: the lost name for the emotion we’re all feeling right now,…, Jonathan L. Zecher

Pictures by J.T. Harpster. Prints of his photos can be found at

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