The Cold Season
Winter is ruthless. It touches, strangles us as the sun's daily presence continues to shorten. The tremble-filled rush of air snatches your breath as it sweeps by, hurrying to the south. We all feel its wrath in one way or another. The old, the young, the sick, and the feeble suffer the most. Abruptly, on an often otherwise bleak day, the sun hangs on the west for a fleeting moment longer. This is the trigger. The season has started to change, but none too fast. A 128 second promise is made that day. A promise of warmth and growth, of insects and flowers, of beauty and hope. Just as a Bois d’Arc drops its fruit, so do the days press on. Longer each time. Persistent, but never drastic. The days becomes less dominated by the dark and more illuminated by the light. Every being, wild or otherwise, looks on with anticipation. Not all are allowed to experience the encroaching warmth. No, some are left behind to forever wander in that frozen limbo. Many have seen more than their share of equinoxes. Their time comes, as is expected, but it is never easy. The life of a Monarch should be celebrated, not their death mourned. Some are never blessed with the standard allotment of seasons. These are the ones we truly miss. The ones who return each fall to haunt our fantasies. What would their hypothetical lives be like? A baron who battles each day for the rights of the fall? A majesty who marauds his crown of bone for all to admire? These queries infiltrate our mind as we examine the remains of a life once lived. So much potential. So much mystique.