Sunday, December 27, 2015

Deep Dark Winter

The sky is grey. The buildings are grey and it’s dark all day. I have lights on in every room and my electric fireplace is lit to make my living room feel cozy. This is winter and I used to travel to avoid it.

I used to plan and prepare in November and December and travel, January to April or May. I told everyone: I hate winter. And I’d go somewhere hot and dry. It was wonderful but then I decided not to travel.

And every year, a person or three who were once friends and who then became acquaintances, become people I used to know. I miss them in winter. And it’s always in winter that I find myself wondering why they don’t make films like they used to—films that I wanted to see.

When I wasn’t travelling I was on a book or a script but, as with travelling, long-form writing has become something I used to do. Thank God the Great British Baking Show rekindled a passion for the kitchen to fill the time that moves more slowly in winter.

I thought I might find this season hard to endure but I have come to embrace it (with arms engulfed in the sleeves of my polar down-engorged winter ski jacket or my seven-eighth’s rubber sou’wester).

I feel satisfactorily engaged and happy here in winter. It’s easier as a man with nothing to prove and only myself to please. Although there are fewer friends, their acquaintance is far more meaningful, satisfying and deeply appreciated.

I am excited to realize that I will have another summer in this city that has been my home for sixty-eight summers yet never fails to fulfill all my warm-weather dreams. I don’t take my decent health and mobility for granted and I take full advantage of my status every day.

So …

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