This photo was taken in my pantry at 11:30 pm, Monday 10 December, just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Please note that the window is not only open, but fully wide open. What happened to Winter? Have we killed it?
Before one of you pounces on me for this, I am fully aware that I have mentioned many times my utter distaste for the particularly Boston habit of complaining about the weather, no matter what it may be. But this is not a complaint. It's more of a lament. You see, I actually enjoy a good proper Winter.
When I was a kid, the snow set in before Thanksgiving and was on the ground until April. It was beautiful to see it and fun to play in it. Despite what many people would see as discomfort, I learned to find a particular quiet beauty in it, a great comfort in piling into my layers of wool, stuffing two pairs of socks into Maine Hunting Shoes, everyone pitching in to clear the way, then coming in to a warm house and fresh cocoa. By this time of year, I'd have had that experience a few times. Lately, it never comes.
Sure, it's nice to have balmy weather, but all the time? I'm the kind of guy who believes that you can't have Yin without Yang, that the beauty of a hot Summer day is pointless without an equally beautiful foot of snow in December. For the last few years, not a day goes by that I don't see someone in shorts, and I'm usually a bit damp with sweat in all the tweed and flannel I still insist on wearing. True, I do love the clothes, and I miss being able to wear them so much, but this isn't really about that. It's about balance, and the new lack of it.
I don't want to start a political or scientific debate over global warming and climate change. Frankly, I wouldn't be able to keep up. Maybe we've just had some mild Winters. Maybe the climate is just changing. Maybe years from now the concept of a snowy Winter in Boston will be an old time novelty, and there will be fewer of us who remember the good-old-tough-old-days. Should that be the case, i will accept it. After all, we can't really change the weather. But it won't stop me from fondly remembering and silently hoping for a good old two foot snow fall.
All I want for Christmas is my Winter back.