28 September 2006

More on Fall, Winter, and the Inevitable Coldness of Death

It is a beautiful day. Absolutely gorgeous leaves, a slight breeze, and not a cloud to be seen. All the more depressing because the sun is crooked in the sky, signaling the last death rattles of summer. If it were like this all year, a little quieter, a little cooler at night, a litter darker in the early mornings, I could handle it. But knowing that it could snow anytime now instead of being 80 degrees just takes the top off the joy. I can't ever shake the feeling of impending doom in the fall the way I can in the summer, even though logic tells me it's coming just the same. Gerard Manley Hopkins suggests that I am not dreading the cold, but my own death. This is something which I would like to delay as long as possible (assuming no proof that I am the next messiah or that aliens will NOT use my cold body to incubate their young underground while they organize the world takeover).

Anyway. I seem to be getting a lot of flack from folks insisting that I am not appreciating winter as I should, and that summer is not the sliced bread of the seasons. (In my defense, I will admit that I love a fire, cozy socks with sweatpants, root vegetable-based entrees, and snowy mornings when the dogs go gallumping through the drifts and eating snow and accidentally inhaling it and coughing and sneezing water droplets on each other. That's funny.) So yet again I am forced to explain why these people are foolish. You may consider this the Reader's Digest version of why my reasons for hating winter are better than your reasons for liking it.

1. Uncomfortably hot is MUCH better than uncomfortably cold. This owes to the fact that when you are cold, you begin to feel the same way you feel when you die, or so I would imagine: slow...ing...down...stop. When you're uncomfortably hot, you have a nap, wake up when it's darker, and have a beer.

2. Sweating is cleansing. People pay to sit in saunas. People do not pay to sit in an unheated outdoor hut in the winter. There is inherent worth in warmness.

3. If one should have bad circulation to one's appendages, summer does not pose a risk to them of turning black and falling off. Along these same lines, if one should err towards the under side of body weight, one is more likely to not hate everything in the summer.

4. Winter is pretty from inside, summer is pretty from everywhere.

5. Winter limits not only activities, but living space. My house will shrink by a good 200 square feet for 5 months.

6. Skiing is sweaty yet freezing cold, sunburning, windburning, expensive, and difficult. Is is sadism.

7. Winter is dry, meaning, chapped lips, dry skin, sad nose, and static electricity. God I hate static.

8. The dogs get cold too (and they have fur coats, so don't tell me I'm overreacting) and they can't play outside as long so they get rowdy inside and get scolded by Violet for acting silly and then get sad and pout.

9. Those great snowy mornings I mentioned do not happen nearly as often as the crusty-muddy-way too bright-bitter cold-fall on my ass mornings.


And now, dear readers, for the betterment of humanity, and your own personal enlightenment, I shall impart upon you some Victorian-era wisdom.

Spring and Fall
to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins

11 Comments:

Blogger Bug said...

I'll just add that making lists is really gratifying.

9/28/2006  
Anonymous Catnip said...

No point in trying to not dwell on the negative, huh? Hunkering down for six months of misery? Rather than be contrarian and make an opposing list, I'll just say that you make an eloquent argument.

9/29/2006  
Anonymous JH and AH said...

You're dumb, we win. Nanny nanny poo poo!

9/29/2006  
Blogger Bug said...

Just know that I am seriously considering deleting your comment whilst singing to myself, Na na na na na, sticks and stones will break my bones but words are way cooler so I win.

9/29/2006  
Blogger Altered Egoist said...

Screw winter. Fuck the cold. And why are you trying to make us move to this MORE arctic region? I love palm trees!

4. Winter is pretty from inside, summer is pretty from everywhere.

The truth has never been truthier!

9/29/2006  
Blogger Bug said...

Because, dear Egoist, misery loves company.

9/30/2006  
Blogger Riley said...

Emily Dickenson's "Success is counted sweetest" will surely tell you that without the winter, summer would lose some of its appeal. Without winter, what would bears do all year? Surely you don't want bored bears looking emaciated. Surely you would miss snow balls. Surely hot chocolate is on you short list of yummies.

PS - if you don't knock'em down here, I'll quit setting them up for you.

9/30/2006  
Blogger Riley said...

that should be "your" short list not you short list

9/30/2006  
Blogger Bug said...

I'm willing to take my chances on getting really tired of being comfortable and happy. And quit calling me Surely.

9/30/2006  
Blogger Riley said...

Bravo!

9/30/2006  
Anonymous AH said...

My Fall is Great and Summer Sucks List.

1. Misquitos, Not just annoying little blood suckers, WEST NILE KILLS!

2. Sunburns, The peeling and horrifying itchiness (and my allergy to aloe)

3. My United Power (electric company) Bill, June: $196, July: $201, and August: $207, donations please?

4. The wind, it blows from sun up to sun down, waking my kids, making my house dirty, causing me to dust daily.


5. Swimming suits, need I say more?

6. Heat rash on my beautiful daughters

7. Summer colds, twice as nasty and takes twice as long to get over.

8. No gift-giving holidays

9. Husands who hate being hot not allowing you to snuggle next to them at night, making for lonely wives. :(

10/01/2006  

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