Dreading the darkness
Oct. 13, 2017
by Ivan Raconteur

There are things to be appreciated during each Minnesota season, but I must admit it’s not easy for me to generate much enthusiasm at this point in the annual cycle.

The first frost warning of the season always fills me with a sense of foreboding.

Already, I have noticed it is getting light later in the morning, and the dark blanket of dusk descends upon us earlier each evening.

I tend to be uncomfortable at this time of year. I rebel against the fact I will be forced to wear a coat and gloves for the long months ahead while we are trapped in this icy prison.

One way this rebellion manifests itself is that I try to go as long as I can without wearing a coat in the autumn. This causes me to be uncomfortably cool until I break down and concede the season is changing.

I also avoid turning on the heat as long as I can in the fall, so it can be a bit brisk at the bachelor estate.

There’s a little game I play in which I try to keep the gap between paying for air conditioning and paying for heating as wide as possible.

In this delightful state, it isn’t easy to separate cooling season and heating season. Sometimes, the change comes overnight.

I can tell it is time to think about turning on the furnace when I can see my breath indoors, and the cats start wearing bathrobes around the house.

Some people look forward to winter, but I am not one of them.

Winter is a bother, and as I get older, the irritation factor increases.

I don’t like going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.

Negotiating treacherous minefields of hidden ice patches is not my idea of fun.

Slipping and falling is easy. It’s the landing that I worry about. Picking myself up off the frozen pavement is no barrel of laughs either.

One of my least favorite things in Minnesota is having to take time to hack the ice off my vehicle before I can go anywhere.

Some critics might suggest I am starting to worry about winter prematurely, but since September blew by in the blink of an eye, and we are already halfway through October, I suspect it will be winter before we know it.

While I dread the first signs of the coming of winter, I have the opposite reaction to the first signs of spring.

After a long dreary winter, the first breath of a spring breeze through an open window acts like a tonic on my weary spirit, and inspires me to cavort and sing.

Spring is a time of hope, while autumn is a time to make preparations and resign ourselves to the seemingly endless parade of dark days ahead.

The cavorting and singing are a long way off now. The best we can do is savor whatever fine autumn days are left, and dream of the light.

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