I have never been a Man for All Seasons. In Australia we used to say that we had only two, the wet and the dry. We may have preferred February to August, but even the latter was never the Winter of any particular discontent. Up Over, here in Europe, I dislike Winter, even hate the bitter cold and especially the treacherous ice on the road we call “verglas”. Spring and Autumn are lovely, but I prefer weather like today’s, here on my deck above the beach in Bidart which is full of July-August vacationers. It’s Summertime, and the livin’ is easy : the rolling surf, the 26° temperature, the cloudless sky and the gift which St Francis called “Brother Sun”. It makes you think of the Land of Lotus where it’s always afternoon. It has all the ingredients for a midsummer day’s dream.
The evening news will bring me back to reality, but right now I am carpeying the diem. I know that the blazing sun will go down, even that Summer will end and Autumn will bring on my least favorite season. I will soon have to face, not the beauty of the ocean but the bills, the disappointments, the illnesses, the accidents, the bad news about relatives and friends and the slings and arrows of outrageous geopolitics. But for now I put all that aside and dream my dream that this idyllic afternoon will go on forever. That tomorrow will be just like today. It doesn’t get any better than this, but I know it will not last and may get an awful lot worse. When it does, I hope I remember today, and why it was so good. It was not just the weather. It was the friends around me, the good news I got from members of my family, and the satisfaction that comes from achieving this morning what I set out to achieve. All this coupled with the fact that my physical, mental and even financial condition are – for the nonce – A OK.
Some, lucky enough to share such good fortune, might be tempted to thank God for making it all possible. I am one of the lucky ones who know that He had nothing to do with it, any more than with the possible misfortunes that await me. It may be the greatest “blessing” of all : lucidity.