I’m taking a break from my usual cancer-related blog to write about winter. It is Groundhog Day, after all. I’ve heard Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, but some lesser known savant named Staten Island Chuck in New York did not see his. Where I live, it would be impossible to see one’s shadow in the constant grey that is winter’s companion. So perhaps it’s all a function of sunlight and not animal instinct.
That said, Groundhog Day prompted me to Google® what other famous authors (Okay, so I’m not famous; but I am an author.) had to say about this particular season. I offer some pearls before groundhog enthusiasts.
Anton Chekhov, that chilly Russian writer, said: “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” I wonder if there is any empirical data to support this.
Albert Camus, not to be outdone, said: “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” I wonder if Camus was happy. Robert Frost noted: “You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” What do you expect with a name like Frost?
And when William Shakespeare said, “Now is the winter of our discontent,” he might have had Earl in mind. Earl hates winter and wishes his wife were amenable to spending it in Florida. He would likely agree with Bill Veeck who said, “There are only two seasons – winter and baseball.”
Pitchers and catchers report for Spring training around Valentine’s Day; and Earl’s mood will lift noticeably. Mine will too, but it has nothing to do with winter and everything to do with being closer to the end than to the beginning of my radiation treatments.