The start of the cold times, winter has come, and is running her icy fingers up and down our spines to chilling effect. Not the iciest of times, those will come later, around the turn of the new year, when knitted hats and thick underwear become de rigour.
I love the wintertime, when a cracked door leaks chill unto my face, awakening the skin with frigid blast, coxing muscles into activity with the terrible consideration of being suddenly frozen into a block of ice. The frigid air is pristine, refrigerated, crisp and fresh, each breath voluminously enriching the spirit, till discharged in a cloud of condensation.
The very practice of keeping warm, standing in front of a blazing fire, or just a most practical toasty electric radiator, becomes an exercise in sublime pleasure, a feeling only sometimes matched by the unhindered rays of the noonday sun. A slow steady roasting of flesh and blood, sufficient to make an ogre drool with unembarrassed appetite.
Winter, the season of magic, fairy tales, unbelievable stories, blessed happenstances.