While standing in the middle of the blast furnace that is our hot and dry summer of 2012, the view towards winter doesn’t look so bad. Snow looks sort of pleasant. Cold afternoons seem like a fine excuse to build a roaring fire. Blankets are soft. I like hot soup. Ice still looks slippery, but the tires on my car aren’t so bad. My eyes are strained today from the constant sunshine, and they want to find a place to hide, perhaps inside a dark season where they might rest and recover. From afar, winter feels something like a challenge I’m up to, or at least a decent little idea. Winter, it isn’t so bad.
But it is. This is the time when our eyes and our minds and our very souls deceive us. We’ve been sweating and stinking and scrapping and crawling, and our summer is testing us. It’s making us wish it were cold. It’s making others wish they could see me wearing pants and shoes instead of faded shorts and well-worn sandals. It’s making us want to know what it feels like to be chilled. All of these factors push us to a place where just a few months ago we never, ever, thought we’d be in. We’re looking forward to winter, with its quiet and its ice and it’s pretty, fluffy snow.
We must fight this urge to be defeated by any summer, no matter how hot it is. We cannot be complacent. Winter, from here, looks fine. But I’ve been there before, in winter, and from the inside out it is a cold, slippery, mess. It’s desolate. Winter is death, and we mustn’t embrace death. What sort of person would? Not me.
Photograph by Ideal Impressions Photography.