Walking in the air

In a paddock of one of the farms along the Appleton Side Road today I saw a Mustang covered with a dusting of snow.  For the uninitiated it is a spectacle which incites a combination of novelty and a breath of regret for the animal. Neither is fully apt. The Mustang reportedly has a thick layer of fur beneath which it succeeds to muffle the snow from the animal’s body heat.  This makes sense given the comfortable appearance of the horse and the perpetuity of the snow. It is noteworthy however that the horse should nonetheless have a lean-to or shelter from which to escape the wind and precipitation.

The speed of winter gathers remorselessly by the day.  It was I can tell you a shock this morning to be obliged to withstand the remnant snow and salt on the roadways and walkways after last night’s first – though moderate – snow storm. I suppose its contamination is no more unpredictable than any other annual event of Nature at this latitude but it is an annoyingly inescapable reminder. Already this afternoon we began sharing wishful ambitions au sud next year. I confess I’ve caught myself occasionally inhaling at a sudden rapid rate as I contemplate with a sigh what awaits me for the next three months at least. We have meanwhile exhausted the initial concern of winter wardrobe.  To my unanticipated delight this morning I discovered a an unfrequented closet in the study.  It was judiciously housed with winter coats – all of which were purchased years ago and none of which I have worn for as many. The greater achievement was the subsequent unhanging of at least one pair of long pants – that is, one which fits! On the rack above the winter coats were a collection of leather and woollen gloves and winter hats (including a now unfashionable racoon hat which I know to be indescribably cozy because I used to sport it when skating along the Rideau River in Ottawa.

I continued today my sentimental revival of favourite Christmas music. The project is to exhaust the supply one way or the other – that is, by listening or becoming saturated – by December 26th when I fully expect to lapse instantly and irreversibly into a doleful glance beyond.