The Bliss of Solitude

I recently received a letter in which my friend announced his intention to stop arguing with people when they say that they do not like winter. He is convinced of the correctness of his love for winter and anything that is already true and right does not need to be defended. There is no need for him to argue because being right is its own victory.

To the extent that winter means skiing and hot apple cider with rum, I think that it is clear how winter is wonderful. To the extent that my breath freezes in my mustache and my neighbors never shovel their sidewalk, winter is dreadful. Luckily, when winter becomes overly oppressive, we are at liberty to turn our minds to warmer subjects and grant ourselves respite from winter’s weary ways.

So if you are cold and longing for fairer weather, imagine a sunny day with a warm and gentle breeze. And from the top of a lush green hill, you look down on a sparkling, blue lake. Along the cost of the lake are myriad golden daffodils fluttering in the aforementioned breeze, almost dancing.

Doesn’t that sound pleasant? Doesn’t it sound familiar? It should; after all, that is the scene that William Wordsworth conjures in the poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. In the poem, Wordsworth claims that he imagines the daffodils when he is “In vacant or in pensive mood,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if he also turns his mind to that beautiful spring day when he gets fed up with winter.

 

Beer of the Week: Kunstmann Lager – I’ve never been to South America, but I have been led to believe that it is currently summer there. So I’ve decided to pair this reading with a Chilean beer. Kunstmann Lager is very clear and light. It is alright, but somewhat weak in the flavor department. One can taste hints of the same malt flavors found in Kunstmann Bock and Kunstmann’s Pale Ale, however, it is not quite as good as either of those two. It really is a decent beer and is better than many similar beers, but it is still my least favorite so far from this Chilean brewer.

Reading of the week: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth – The reading last week was from English Traits by Emerson. I was so impressed with the people that Emerson got to meet personally, that I’ve decided to read works by many of them. So here is the first of a series of readings inspired by English Traits: a lovely little poem about flowers and the ability to “flash upon that inward eye” and imagine beautiful scenes.

Question of the week: Where is your “happy place”?

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