The mariner has windows in his home. Outside every window is snow. He is a distinct minority among his family, friends and acquaintances. He holds great disdain for snow, sees no use for it and considers it quite a monochrome. Indeed, one must shovel it out of the way, slide uncontrollably on it with an automobile, and he finds snow too cold to be of any comfort. Snow causes heating bills, heart attacks, broken bones and one can die from exposure. Deep enough, it brings functional life to a standstill. In this winter, the mariner has sympathy for those in the south who seldom see snow and find it alien to normal life.

Where are the greens of summer? Where are the reds of flowers and a warm breeze with a blue sky and the hopefulness of a multicolored sunrise? Where are the palm trees and lush bromeliads? Where is that moment when one cannot feel the temperature at all because it is just right as it touches the skin?

The mariner believes that if the human species were limited to a natural state of existence, that is, no clothes, no heated homes, and restricted as other creatures are to a specific habitat, Homo sapiens would exist only between parallel N25° and S25°. For landlubbers, roughly speaking that is a line between Mexico City, Daytona Beach, the Bahamas, the Canary Islands, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Hong Kong in the northern hemisphere and in the southern hemisphere Asuncion, Paraguay, Rio de Janeiro, Pretoria, South Africa, Shark Bay on the western coast of Australia and Brisbane on the Eastern Coast.

Granted, weather patterns would allow Homo sapiens to be migratory but like the Monarch butterfly, who by atmospheric standards may be smarter than Homo sapiens, returns to warmer climes. How many creatures can you name that are migratory – including life in the oceans? They need not kill other animals for protective clothing; they need not consume great resources to keep warm; they need not invade alien habitats in search of large quantities of food. Homo sapiens is not so wise in its ability to conjure unnatural means of survival that are necessary because the species has moved out of its natural habitat.

All the population issues would have been solved long ago. We may have died as a species, or, more likely, we would have adapted to less abundant procreativity. Other species would have their space on this planet.

Oh well, the mariner dreams of better days. Meanwhile, his wife is out shoveling the walk.

Ancient Mariner

3 thoughts on “Snow

  1. Well, finally a posting from the Ancient Mariner that I disagree with. Walking through falling snow in the evening, especially in the woods, is a wonderful event. The world is hushed and a carpet of pure white blankets (or a blanket of pure white carpets the world) the world. It’s like you, in your tiny microcosm, are the only person in the world. If only for a few moments, it feels beautiful. I know this is a highly romanticized view and it doesn’t address realities, but still … it is beautful for a time.

  2. The mariner admires your ability to enjoy wonderment, as you’ve mentioned on other posts. He envies that you find a blissful place so easily. If this is our only disagreement, we shouldn’t be worried about our friendship.

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