Monday, January 30, 2012

After Christmas Winter Blues

Winter - Bah!
I have the winter blues - in southern Louisiana.  It wouldn't do for me to live farther north.  I'm not alone in my blue mood.  The horses get the blues every January, too.  They spend their time lying down or standing still with a bored expession on their equine faces.

It's not the cold that depresses me.  We have very little really cold weather.  It's the gray, sunless days.  It's the brown, barren cane fields.  It's the lack of tomatoes that taste like tomatoes.

We took our little artificial Christmas tree down this morning.  That's always a depressing chore.  The little tree's white lights add some cheer to the long winter evenings.  I'm always reluctant to pack it away; but if your Christmas tree is still up in February, people begin to think you're a little too eccentric.  The garlands and red bows that are here and there around the house will be packed away today, too.  But the Wise Men are staying on the mantle until Mardi Gras.  I can't let go of everything at once.

My December experiment - praying the Liturgy of the Hours six times a day - was not a total success, but I wouldn't call it a failure either.  I managed pretty well for about three weeks, averaging three or four of the canonical hours a day.  It was a good exercise in discipline.  Maybe I'll give it a try every December.  Nowadays I'm back to my usual pattern of morning and evening prayer and informal chats with God while I go about my work.  This is a good pattern for my modern-day lifestyle.  But I'm still enchanted by life in a monastery where the world stops every three hours to pray.

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