Winter: Is it an acceptable alternative?

Listening today to a collection of Jazz Standards it was apparent that the weather and the seasons are not an uncommon source of wistful reverie. The examples include: Blue Skies, Summer Wind, Come Rain or Come Shine, Stormy Weather, Misty, Autumn Leaves and Foggy Day. What however spurred my curiosity in particular was the seeming acceptance of climate as an inevitable consequence of one’s life; that is, there was no obvious insert surrounding removal from the musical capital.

the state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.

each of the four divisions of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) marked by particular weather patterns and daylight hours, resulting from the earth’s changing position with regard to the sun

I am especially muted about escaping winter because for the past decade we have done so.  In short, I am out of practice with winter; and I don’t want to jump to conclusions. I’m thinking I ought to give it a chance. This winter we are descending our native northern boundary for only a month. Which naturally means that we have to date endured part of what is characteristically called winter; namely, the months of November, December and January. I acknowledge from the outset that I have frequently remarked upon the beauty of a winter’s day.  Even as I write, poised as I am at my desk overlooking the mirrored partly frozen river and the whitened textured farmlands, it is impossible not to marvel at the majesty of the scenery, especially today beneath an azure sky and cloudless radiant sunshine (made all the more brilliant upon the clean layers of snow).

My unwitting introduction to this sometimes fashionable debate arose as a child aged ten or so when my mother advised that our neighbours, Dr. and Mrs. Cox, “wintered” in Arizona. At that time the possibility of abandonding the tantilizing banks of snow lately assembled about our house at 4412 Edmunds St N in Washington DC was unthinkable. We as children hadn’t  any concern about restricted mobility or burdensome apparel  Everything with which we were then acquainted was nothing but a national fantasy, illuminated by the Advent, skiing, skating, tobogganing, cartoons and whatever else then crossed the paths of children in the winter.  The perils of hibernation and reduction to the rumpus room were hardly considered unnatural obstructions.

Since then however I have been overtaken by my curmudgeonly and infectious cardinal humours. Nor is my disposition improved by salt on the roads.  Frankly anything which contaminates the perfection of a clean automobile is to me indescribably offensive.

Competing with this admittedly narrow view of survival is my burgeoning conviction that coral and beach sand are not the answer to the world’s problems. Indeed I might go so far as to acknowledge that the psychology of idealism involves an element of disparity or shall I say incongruity.  The human condition is such that, even afforded the privilege of prosperity, a man may suffer the distinction of poverty if he were not accustomed to a degree of variance. It is a fruitful insight more commonly abbreviated as, “A change is as good as a rest”.  Or some such other inducement as, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone!”  And there is unquestionably value in limiting one’s purported vacation from one’s domestic environment.  Like it or not, with few exceptions, we spend a lifetime departing the place whence we began only to reclaim the erstwhile solace we then enjoyed by returning home.  And equally true of course is that travel is good. So shall we agree that it is a matter of balance?

For whatever reason (and I confess it is almost instinct) I am accommodating this adjustment. The frightful truth is that with each passing day my decrepitude increases incrementally. Failing to observe this amendment is a casualty of its own.  Just as my brother-in-law laughingly suggested on the telephone today that, by having purchased new apparel for my upcoming desertion I had withered my customary shopping delight, my answer was unequivocally that thanks to Amazon I am now happily enabled to bear the deprivation of having to walk further than the distance between the bedroom and the drawing room.  Things change. And it is foolish to pretend otherwise.  Just as I no longer have the ambition to swing from a bungee cord for charity or otherwise! It is a Paradise Lost.

Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consists of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books (in the manner of Virgil’s Aeneid) with minor revisions throughout. It is considered to be Milton’s masterpiece, and it helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of all time. The poem concerns the biblical story of the fall of man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.