The Long Winter

31 March 2013

Can You See Your Shadow, Penny?

I must have shortchanged the Southern Hemisphere this season and my punishment has been this endless winter, relentless skies of gray, day after day, and those of us dwelling beneath them exchanging hardy microbes hacked from rubicund throats ejecting their lethal cargo into hermetically sealed conference rooms or metal tubes with jet engines afixed, blasting them forward at 600 miles an hour toward the next soon-to-be-infected city. It can’t go on forever, can it?

There are a few signs, here and there. Hang dog jonquils and daffodils, their necks snapped by a late snowfall. Irrationally exuberant Robins and Cardinals singing as if the sun were shining, and some even gathering nesting materials in anticipation of a genetically arranged marriage in near future.

Meanwhile, I’m not taking any chances. I’m heading South tomorrow, to Ecuador. They tell me the sun is shining there.

Rupert Scofield


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