First, let me thank Our Lord that neither I nor anybody I really care about is presently shoveling snow out of our internal organs, like the folks in The Windy City. Given that environment would, more than likely, affect my disposition in some non-quantifiable, floating way, I doubt that I would say what I am about to confess if I lived in state that endured harsh winters. However, since I live in the Magnolia State (which is currently initiating a vacuous movement to attract visitors by luring them with promises of The Authentic Mississippi Experience), let me gently but confidently admit that winter is steadily waging its patient battle to become my second favorite season–right after fall.
This evening, while enjoying my pipe and a book of *best loved* poems and maybe a little bourbon, I watched the sun set, a horizon consisting of a stratified sash of pink and Persian pink wrapping itself around the waist of a deep sky blue dome. Noble, robust pines stood in attendance next to the wizened-looking oak trees, whose remaining few leaves look like clumps of hair that impudently refuse to fall from a head that has long since gazed upon the sunset of life.
Preference. Only a preference. One heavily dependent upon a disposition. Granted, I possess a Saturnine personality (not to be confused with Uranian Love), and the black bile may flow in abundance, coloring the way by which I approach life. I tend toward the school of bemused ruin and the after-school of functional despair, and my homework involves alcohol and meditations upon the dark mysteries of life. Thus, my affinity for winter makes sense. However, let us leave the generalities of philosophers and social scientists behind for the particularities of poets.
Chilling gusts of wind force one to concentrate on the essential tasks at hand, or else they make one realize to what degree petty thoughts pass through one’s minds. Then again, winter makes one see that all, more or less, is passing. Leaves that lustfully flourished in verdant splendor only a few months ago come across as almost pathetic in their refusal to let go of branches that no longer desire them. Colors seem more crisp than they do in either the spring or the summer. The ruddy flush on faces gives everyone the appearance of perpetual embarrassment and shame–the true responses to the human condition. Winter fashions necessarily create an aura of mystery in regard the human person–something missing from the flesh-exhibiting strips of cloth that pass as clothing during the summer. (Disclaimer: I like the flesh as much as the next guy, but winter gives Logos and Melancholia an edge over Eros that they don’t have [with me anyway] during the spring and the summer.)
As someone who is starting to appreciate the unsaid more than that which can said, the yearnings that must go unfulfilled as opposed to the manufactured and commercially satiated ones, the mysteries that simply have to be experienced in the silent interiority of the heart’s temple over against the dull answers of an ideology devoid of transcendence–yes, winter, I will.