Heat of summer, or cold of winter?


Do you prefer the heat of the summer, or the cold of the winter?

Ah, but that is neither a simple question, nor one easy (or quick) to answer (as you'll soon realize if you follow along with me)!

For I do love the heat of the summer, when it is the warmth on the back of my neck, above the collar of a plain t-shirt, as I rest one arm on the hot lacquered metal of the convertible's door, and the opposite hand loosely grasps the padded leather covering of the steering wheel, as we head to an island cook-out. But I am also quite fond of the snap of cold that invades my nostrils, bringing with it the faint scent of burning leaves on a moonstruck Halloween night.

On the other hand, the summer's heat and humidity can be oppressively unbearable on a dusty and ancient warehouse mezzanine, as one sweatily stacks wooden crate after wooden crate of oiled machine parts in ordered rows of chest-high stacks, knowing there are still more and more crates waiting below. But, then too, on a desolate country lane, the winter's sharply biting cold can run you through, as the slush-covered jack handle slips once more from your grip to slide into the windblown icy puddle beneath your broken down vehicle.

So I suppose I'd have to say I really prefer the torpid early spring afternoon, when the dry breeze fluttering the drapes at the bedroom window carries the faintest scent of sprouting spring across the naked back of my loved one as we fade into and out of our napping reveries. Or is it instead the crackling cold of which I'm fondest? The extreme chill that crystallizes all moisture from the air, leaving the blindingly white snow-covered slopes rolling away under the vivid blue and the glaring sun, green-black banks of firs trimming all the edges?

Do I most savor the shivers that dribble down each vertebra as I enter the dankest and dampest reach of the redwoods' shadow? Or do I instead cherish the memory of that hot concrete patio beneath my bare Florida feet when I received a first tentative yet longing kiss?

What of the invigorating iciness of that first cannonball into the muddy rippling water, even though you knew you were going to get your hide tanned when Auntie discovered you'd been out along the back creek again, despite a multitude of warnings? Was that ever any more satisfying than the radiant heat that baked your soles near crispy, as your campmates arranged themselves radially around a wood-smoke fire, blankets wrapped tightly, heads pointed outward to sniffle in the cooling night drafts, as ghost stories and other tall tales were batted back and forth among the circling mosquitos?

Not too sure, now, are you?

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