I'm halfway through next year. Living it in advance in a manner of speaking. And, just to bemuse you, I'm talking in my present, your past. Actually, when I next read this, it will be mine too. Confused?
the beginnings of autumn, you, if I've timed this right, should be in
the last week of June 2017, not that I can tell you what state I or
the world, economically, politically, environmentally, will be in,
but wait, even if I did so it would be too late, after the date, at
the time of your reading.
not impossible to write about summer, the one gone or the one to
come, but right now, my now, I've got the urge to prepare for
hibernation. To gather my stores for the winter. To conserve energy,
including that used in thought, until the advent of spring. The
spring you're passing through.
a winter person, in spite of it being the season in which I was born,
although as a child I think I might have been. Looking back it mostly
seems like going through motions, those moments that most children
in Europe at some point have of ice and snow. Watching flakes fall
and settle; tobogganing down a thick snow-covered slope in a park;
building a snowman, and throwing snowballs. Perhaps I was lucky to
have experienced frost and not the tropics with its heat, monsoon
rains, hurricanes and biting insects.
cold never used to be painful, not as I remember it anyhow, or maybe
the stinging cold in itself was a joy. Now, it's a trial to welcome
these months when the ground hardens and a bitter northerly wind
blows. I begin rubbing my hands and my ears sing, yes sing, in a high
pitched whine long before the switch is felt by others, or complained
of. A draught settles in my bones and there's a ghost at my feet,
blowing cold air on my toes like an electric fan, even with socks and
too, are different. Different to what they were. Unless it's my
perception that's changed. Certainly the way my body copes has
altered. I get prickly heat and I've grown to dislike humidity and
brilliant sunlight. My eyes are easily dazzled by the light the sun
casts and my body is more sensitive to the powerful rays it exudes,
and yet it's so nice to be warmed. To be tenderised after winter; for
goose-flesh to be banished and to have hands that I or others don't
never like what we're given, or fully realise that we're only given
what we can handle. For nothing ever seems that way when you're in
it, unprepared for its coming, unless you thrive on circumstances
being thrown at you from every direction. Afterwards, you might
acknowledge you rose to the challenge, though it might have weaken
you, bewildered you, had you run around in a panic or wander in a
daze, but not before or during. There are very few made of such
stern stuff, visible on the surface and beneath.
the seasons is much the same. It's unsettling, it brings turmoil like
life does. But we adjust. We recover. Return to discarded habits as
we do to suitable clothing for the season. It's what our Empire's
built on: industry and consumerism. Trade. Store cupboard staples and
bolts of cloth; exotic fruits and vegetables; spices and rum.
world has its own schedule. History too has its periods, some
unpredictable, some almost fated to happen, and yet we would like to
erase these as we would like to do away with weather patterns. We
want consistency, transparency and less unethical practices. We want
a more temperate climate. However, there's always a price to pay,
something to offset the perceived benefits. In everything: people,
history, industry, weather, there's good and bad. Light and shade.
They reside together, you can't have one without the other, not
entirely. A world in which there's the sun but no moon. A world where
ice doesn't exist, anywhere, though that world, some would say, is
getting closer to fruition. A world in which items are given for free
and nobody pays. Somebody always does.
without these phases we'd be poorer because if nothing has a value
there's nothing to appreciate.
Picture credit: Around the Corner, Andrew Wyeth