It’s A Pity . . .

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I pity the poor Southerner. I pity all those to whom spring comes early.

It’s March. They’re already sweaty, sweltering, with a sheen of oil on their skin. Here, the air is crisp and refreshing, invigorating even.

They have so little time to prepare for bikini season, it’s already upon them. Here, we have months . . . possibly years.

The bright sun means they have to wear sunglasses, and hide the windows of their souls. Here, our eyes are available to others and our pupils are widely, fetchingly dilated, to let in as much gray light as possible.

There, the bright, riotous colors of flowers are harsh and inescapable. Here, the white and shades of gray are soothing and undemanding. They settle for snowdrops while we enjoy snow drops.

Their sleep is rudely disrupted by the sound of raucous birds. All is silent here.

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The pollen in the air means their eyes itch and theirs noses run. Here, we breathe free.

They toil in yard and garden, while we luxuriate with needle, thread, book, and brandy, in front of a roaring fire.

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Their days are placid, boring, without excitement. Here, we await, with shortened breath and pounding hearts, the arrival of the next drama with a Christian name—Quinn, Riley, Skylar. Toby . . . is that you on the horizon?

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They pay gym memberships and go looking for ways to exercise. Here, we get our exercise for free—shoveling snow, pushing cars from drifts, building snow families.

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They drive on clear roads, never learning survival tactics. Here, we have the satisfaction of knowing the gut wrenching, bowel-loosening feeling of competence that comes with pulling out of an icy skid just short of the ditch.

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They no longer enjoy know the sheer relief of hot chocolate in cold hands. The thrill of a snow day, listening to the radio and hearing your school’s name on the closure and cancellation list. The atavistic jolt of a fireplace that provides more than simple atmosphere.

No snow angels. No warm maple syrup straight from the boiler. No need for Irish fisherman knit sweaters and Bean boots and Yaktrax, while watching the St. Patrick’s Day parade..

Pity to all of you for whom spring came early . . . you’re missing so much.

The rest of us, this March, let us thank Providence that you and I are Northerners.

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