Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fall is in the air, can winter be far behind?

Many of us suffered through a terrible winter this year, spring and summer could not come soon enough. Seasons change and as we may face the prospect of another winter of discontent , we should perhaps embrace the idea of winter. Lets have more fun, though I concede it’s a harder sell for those disinclined toward Winter. We've got to roll with it, glide with it, sled with it as it were—so we might as well play in it. Remember when you were a kid how much you looked forward to a snow day? It’s hard to get most kids up for school, but rest assured if it’s a snow day, they’re up and at ’em at dawn and out playing (just as they jump in every leaf pile and mud puddle, which we adults conspicuously avoid). We tend to think of snow as work – we have to shovel it for starters – so we lose that playful perspective. Watch kids playing and you’ll remember what’s really important! Put the shovel down and plop yourself in. Feel it. Make a snow angel. Make a snowman. OK, if you really, really hate the cold, go ice skating in a temperature-controlled rink to get into the mood. The important question is, when the hell did we get too “mature” to do these things? It’s pretty much the saddest thing that ever happened.

Last year we had a miracle of snow dropping down from the clouds in abundance of late. Perspective.

… I have felt

A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling place is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:

A motion and spirit that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things

—William Wordsworth

Is that mature enough for you?  Wordsworth and the other Romantics understood the snow. So did Frost:

Whose woods these are I think I know.   

His house is in the village though;   

He will not see me stopping here   

To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

 My little horse must think it queer   

To stop without a farmhouse near   

Between the woods and frozen lake   

The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   

To ask if there is some mistake.   

The only other sound’s the sweep   

Of easy wind and downy flake.   

 The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep.

Frost recognizes the beauty of nature and the snow, and sure, he grows very weary, and thinks of stopping in the cold, dark night, perhaps for his final rest. But he doesn’t. He goes on through the deep and frozen Winter, refusing to sleep. Even his horse recognizes he’s got to keep plodding forward while the Winter compels him to sleep. So, yes, there’s a choice for our prescription – to rest or to play – but we cannot completely hibernate when we've got miles to go before we sleep.  

Remember, last winter we made it through it together and this winter we all have promises to keep and we’ll get through them together.

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