The snowfall was off and on last night, and the flakes began to fall again late this morning. It’ll put folks off the resumed LING Lunch, perhaps, but for those of us who know a bit more about the trials and tribulations of snow, this soft and gentle fall could only be pretty and pleasing.
It’s the sort of snow that you want to land on an outstretched tongue, to melt immediately on contact, as it does on most surfaces just now. It’s so not freezing out, and mild, that really it elicits only a smile. Maybe that’s a sign of increasing old age, that sense that yes, we’ve experienced so much worse than this, and we can live with a pretty picture. Maybe it’s the equanimity of advanced years that conveys a sort of peaceful co-existence with what comes at us now.
On the other hand, we’re also prepared for the mental anguish that comes with unexpected challenges; we’ve had enough of them too, thank you very much! Nobody likes worry, I assume, and over the past few years I’ve configured the activities I do to try to avoid much of the worry and responsibility I’d assumed in previous times. Most of the time I’m cheerfully at peace with things.
But challenges, if they’re not mental torture, are the stimulants we probably need to keep us active. We may say we want a quiet life, but I bet we’d really prefer an active, if less anxious one. Planning for the positive adventures might take the place of putting out the fires of unforeseen issues, if only because with some increasing wisdom we can see the pitfalls ahead and plan for them.
I’m rather eager to be looking ahead, for example, to an adventure in northern France, a twirl from last century’s Maginot Line on the Belgian border, west to Brittany. We’ll be depending on good old Harry Hymer to take us where we need to go, to research the terrain and to help create a sense of place for my emerging historical fiction. As I’ve noted before, however, Harry has this way of exhibiting his age, often at the most inopportune times. So that sort of stimulation should keep us on our toes, even as we plan for the eventualities of mechanical breakdown that we might encounter.
When I’m safely and quietly ensconced upstairs in the study area, looking out over the Galloway hills, or at least the nearby trees, I shall put my fictional protagonists through at least as many challenges as we’ve known. See how they cope!
That must feel like the softest touch of a snowflake on your tongue, melting into a quiet memory, a remembered joy: we’ve been there, faced that, came through.
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