The Immediacy of Winter

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ~ Paulo Coelho

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” ~ Neal Gaiman

Yet another deep cold morning is at hand. Ten degrees at 5 AM. Although I have grown used to and accepting of it I finally got over it a few days ago. Not that I have a choice, right? Maybe I could paraphrase a self-help well-being aphorism and say it’s not the cold, it’s what you do with it. Well . . . I pretty much shiver; that’s what I do. One of the things I love about Winter, after 23 years of living along the shores of The Florida Straits, is the immediacy and power. Power like, unless you are some nitwit habitual tailgater on an icy highway, you can’t really forget Winter is there. Summer is different. In Summer you can easily laze yourself right smack into drifting off. Back in the islands I used to spend quite a bit of time drifting off. Summer just ain’t no thing when ya drift off. Especially when you are in a whispering Australian Pine grove on the coral shores with a spliff and a bottle of Heinekens and the faithful southeast breeze and . . . where the heck was my mind going? This morning I could go for a cottage in the Irish countryside, fire on the rustic hearth, dog on the rug before it, cat in the chair, and that beautiful woman at the other end of the love seat, with her book and her cup of tea, pint of Guinness, whatever. The sounds of not so calm surf in the distance. Stevie Nicks channel playing on Pandora. Wait, what? I’d better make it Van Morrison instead. She has a face this morning, this woman on the couch with a book. It is not always so, but today she does. In passing, I’m sure, for it is in essence a fantasy. It’s a good way to start the day, this face. Today is Imbolc. Blessed Be. It’s a Goddess day, don’tcha know. Her name is Brighid.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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