Monday, February 17, 2014


Despite being a great indoorsman, I am happy to see that the weather is warming around Sherwood Cottage.  I am happy to see the sun up and out for longer; it gives me better light by which to do my work on The Work, which has not proceeded as I would have it do for the past few days.  (Other matters have intervened--worthwhile matters, certainly, but not what I most want to be doing.)  It also puts me in a better frame of mind to attend to the needs of those in my charges personal and professional.

The winter cold and darkness does not affect me so much as it does others, I think.  Something in my nature does well in such circumstances; they tend to promote quiet and introspection, and I find both congenial.  Still, I cannot say that the change from it is unwelcome; unlike many who work in the ivory tower and who dwell within it, unlike many of my fellow successors of Chaucer's Clerk, I recognize the need to have acts upon which to reflect and deeds to contemplate in the long, dark, cold days and nights when Boreas speaks loudest of his brethren.

(I realize such descriptions are geographically biased; not all places feel the cold, and among those that do, some see winter blown by the South Wind and not the North.  But I can only write what I know, and while I have known the lands where winter seldom comes, I have never known those where winter is July--so I apologize that my Australian friends and South African are excluded, but I cannot adjust to suit the apology.)

I am pleased, therefore, to see that the many-throated call which I joined seems to have been in part answered.  (The weather is pleasantly spring-like, but the temperatures look like they will drop again, if perhaps not so far; I have not packed away my thermal underwear quite yet).  And I look with some pity enhanced by greater sympathy for those who have yet to see the hint of summer; here, it is icumen in (lhude sing, cuccu!), but this is far from true in some places.  Jack Frost's middle name begins with A, perhaps, and ends in S, and it only has three letters (there is probably a poem in there somewhere); he remains in his accustomed places.

As the weather warms, I wonder if I will thaw, as well, and work more on The Work than I have done.  I wonder if the backlog of work that I have let accumulate will be carried out on currents spawned from the breakup of cold crystal clots in such vessels as are given to me.  I certainly hope so, for pressure is building up behind, and what is useful in a controlled stream is destructive and wasted if a single wave from a burst barrier batters the surrounding lands.  The winter quiet has been good, indeed, but I am far from unhappy to see the sun again.

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