Even gnomes will feel the ragged hand

Been feeling it all week: that hand.  We were told to expect last Wednesday a punch in the face in the form of 30 centimetres of snow.

Never happened.  Just 10 centimetres fell overnight, a mere 4 inches.  And over the next day or so, another 5 cm.  On Friday, November 11th, I expected winter.  Actually, I demanded winter.  It is the day I expect to suffer.  I demand to suffer.  We must all suffer on Remembrance Day, the day we honour the veterans who served and who fell in all of Canada’s wars.

As the citizens of Geraldton gathered at the Legion’s cenotaph for the 11 o’clock ceremony, we suffered.  Kids and adults and scores of senior citizens.   So many senior citizens nowadays, more than I ever remembered before, and I’m one of them.  And a few of them bareheaded and barehanded, so that they can suffer.

Not me.  I dressed for winter.  Wore a headband and a hat.  Winter boots.  Thermal underwear.  On Remembrance Day, I believe in the sacrificial mode, not the suicidal.  I risk my health only so far.  Even with that degree of insulation, the cold crept up into the soles of my feet.  I found myself tap dancing to prevent frostbite.

As the parade fell out, I stumbled after the others into the warm bowels of the Legion Hall.  The chaplain was all smiles.  The sun was shining, the wind holding its breath.  He leaned over to me and whispered, Beautiful day! 

Perfect, I thought.

On Saturday, I cocooned.  Working on a project which I will soon announce.  Ventured outside, in the snow, in the cold, in the wind, to collect wood for the fire.

Yesterday, the temperature was rising.  Sun was warm.  No ice on the lake, snow disappearing.  No ragged hand brushing the skin of my exposed face.

Today, Monday, balmy.

Another reprieve.



About EJ Lavoie

Writer and independent publisher with website
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