Mocking Winter

Yesterday was a fantastic day. And by yesterday, so we’re clear, I do mean Monday. It’s what happens when I sleep in late and have unexpected things come up in the afternoon and evening. Makes my days drag on and Tune Tuesdays never happen…. Music Mondays? Just not working out. Good thing for Tuesdays, or else my alliterative longing would’ve made maintaining Mondays especially laborious.

Anyways, today’s Tuesday, and I was talking about Monday and how fantastic it was.

So, after our monthly clubs meeting (where I got to present a beautiful powerpoint on social media that I was so excited about!), I walked around campus hanging fliers for an upcoming event. Normally flier-hanging is an exhaustive task, especially with how windy it was, but a conversation with a good friend a week and a half back gave me an ingenious idea: Put the fliers in a bag. So that’s what I did. My hands were freed up, nothing blew away, and I had a receptacle to carry the outdated fliers I inevitably had to take down to make room for new material. The weather was especially beautiful–a little cool, but sunny. And the wind?

Have I ever said how much I love the wind?

Anyways, at one point I came across three employees on their way home, all of them bundled up in coats and scarves. The one was like, “Darren, where’s your coat?” And another was like, “How can you be out here like this?” And then the first said, “You’re mocking winter.”

Mocking winter. I liked it. Suddenly it became thematic.

Mocking winter. Muse on it for a while.

What does it mean? No, I’m not quoting the double rainbow, but it all comes down to this: The winter is meant to be cold, although it has not been especially cold this winter. Likewise, people believe we’re unchanging. People say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks or that he came by it honest–but I believe that people can change. I believe we’re more than just what our bodies compel us to do, more than our nature, more than our nurture. Sure, there are those people I see who do stupid things, who do completely inappropriate and idiotic things, and I’ve seen everyone shake their heads and let them be because “it’s just who they are.” We give people allowances for giving up on themselves. We give people allowances for not learning, for staying the same, for being the same asshole today as they were yesterday.

I believe we’re better than that. I believe we’re made better than that. Just as the animal kingdom has been given that gift of evolution and adaptation, we humans have been given the gifts of insight, reflection, and growth. We can look at our actions, our words, our successes and our failures, and we can choose to take that knowledge and make something of it. At that point, that knowledge has stopped being mere knowledge and has become wisdom. Can we argue there is no greater gift than wisdom? There’s a reason we believe elders are worth listening to, because we believe that they have gained wisdom through age. Now, these days, wisdom and age cannot be correlated, but we–at any age–can become wise, and that, I feel, is one of the honors in being human.

So what does this have to do with mocking winter? It’s obvious, isn’t it? Just as being out in the cold dressed for a spring day mocks the weather for what it could have been, taking the time to reshape myself–my actions and my habits–into the man I want to become mocks the very fiber of being that says we cannot change, mocks the line of soldiers drawing arms against me saying that I will always be the same, and declares, as nothing else can, that you can beat me down, knock me out, and throw your arsenal my way, but you can never get in the way of the man I am or the man that I am becoming. I am me–believe it–and from here on out, I’m only getting better.

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