Yesterday I completed winterizing the outside of my house. All the patio furniture are now stacked and stowed away. The fountain pump for the small water feature has been silenced for another season. The hoses are drained and coiled like skinny pythons in the tool shed. Insulated covers like plastic breasts protect the faucets from the coming cold.

I wonder if I’m winterizing my soul as well. That lush extravagance of summer is gone, replaced by a spartan attitude more appropriate to frosts and soon-to-be leafless trees. I await the gray rains and the day-long twilights, the signal to turn within, to mine the mind and spirit for the treasures laid up last summer as provisions¬†against December storms.

Winter is the time to meditate. To sit before a fireplace with a glass of port and a good book. To share a beer with a friend in a cozy tavern while the wind howls and the rain pours down. To take in a movie and chatter about it afterward on the car ride home .

It’s a good time to take stock of the year galloping to its close. Have I loved enough, if there is such a thing as “enough” when it comes to love? Have I convinced my wife of my affection for her in my words and my deeds? Have I been attentive to my children and grandchildren, celebrating their successes and comforting their hurts? Have I been appreciative of my days and nights, so I can say without hesitation that I have not squandered the time allotted to me?

People have myriad ways for marking the passage of time. For me, it’s winterizing. On this Election Day 2016, I hope we aren’t facing a Narnia-like winter that lasts for years.

I haven’t winterized sufficiently for that.

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