A midwinter night’s tale

Outside my window, the sun has already set even if it is only 4 p.m. Darkness has crept in pre-emptively and wages war with New York City’s infinite light and dazzle. From some deep Arctic expanse, a chill descends with the frenzy of a conquering horde. Further north, in Canada, climatologists and urban legend — the two are increasingly interchangeable as temperature extremes become the norm — have declared that it is colder in the city of Winnipeg than in the North Pole or even Mars. The Canadians can get quite emotional about their winters. Meanwhile, the Arctic chill outside most windows slips in and out, like some veteran spy, despite all efforts to deny it entry into buildings. All the while, the mood grows heavier. Knowing as much, tradition in the North Atlantic regions has invented ways to punctuate the seeming eternity of short, nasty, and frigid days with festivities that mark the coming of spring and the promise of life after the desolate days of icy winter. The power of the mind For those who come from sunnier regions of the world, that the North Atlantic winter is often oppressive is not a surprise. But for a […]

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