The Comforts of Winter

Already I am thinking about it, and it is not mitigated by this mild August. I watched the walnut leaves blowing down on the path along the Olentangy river just a few days ago. Autumn in the air already. The mornings are often cool now, and the evenings mild and gentle. Oh, it must be wonderful farther north! Apparently in Cleveland the average high has been 66 or something. One would think that with such temperatures I would be pleased, and I am. I am thankful, let me hasten to add, that the highs hit no more than the eighties and have only a few times, mostly in Ohio’s rash June, crept near to ninety.

But I want more. I want cold, I want sweaters, I want the sun in my south-facing windows when outside it is cold. I dream and long for it. I think of Iceland, of Minnesota, read Canadian news, pine for all these legendary and too, too distant boreal realms.

And yet it is pleasant here in August. I can look out and in the distance see the clear motion of the leaves in the breeze of a morning high above. It is as if they rippled in the clear water of a stream. It doesn’t seem that long ago the fulsome green of the world was only beginning, but for that predatory intervening June.

The wet leaves, the clear skies, the frost, the melancholy peaceful desolation, the silent snow, the layers and the books, the books of winter all rise up out of their summer graves. A few more weeks of the idiotic and perpetual sun and then it should be changing. Night with its twinkling snowflakes will draw near.

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