I’m not much of a fan of this cooler air that hovers over us from the north. I would barricade the cold movement required of this changing season, if elected to do so. Surely there is an initiative to keep California warmer all winter. If not, I would like to start one and have it up on the next ballot. The cruelty my more precious plants are experiencing certainly must qualify for the stirring of public sentiment on such weathered matters. It will be a long winter when I cannot be outdoors with my forest friends, when the sun hardly has time to get up, turn around, and go down, flirting with the Australians and the South Americans while leaving me feeling betrayed, unloved, and abandoned.

I need to re-learn how to huddle near the fireplace and sip something that keeps me warm. Each year, this time of year that is the spell between Halloween and Thanksgiving–Hallowgiving–I cover my normally bare arms and legs and pull in, turtle-like, and read stories of the Yukon and the Arctic, which gives me a greater sense of warmth. And when I sleep, I dream of summery lakes I have floated on only months ago that are now unpeopled and nearly forgotten by others. I dream of soft wind days and swimmable alpine water in shallow, high-country basins, where seahawks circled over me and estimated how much of a feast I might be, before moving on for slippery little trout appetizers.

My own thoughts might freeze up on me if I don’t make the effort to get out when the sun is high. Much outdoor life survives, and I realize it is only a few rare ones like me whose intuition is to fold up my wings and withdraw for a season. Give me a few promises of warmer thermometer readings in my dwindling garden and I may respond to the day and the times. I may pull my head from out of my books of poetry and look about with more interest and intensity. For now, I could be persuaded to pass over the time between here and spring, and I would no longer feel malice toward the rest of these winter months.

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