Sunshine and news
I was shocked this morning (Tuesday) when the sun shone in through the window. Bright light and shadows playing catch-me-if-you-can on the various surfaces throughout the house. Mother Nature had strung together a bunch of downcast and dreary days of late and they had taken their toll. Residents of Canada know all too well the effect of shortening days on the psyche. It is especially difficult when the short days lack even a modicum of sunshine to lift the spirits.
I was fortunate to get away to the sun a couple of weeks ago. The getting away part was great. The coming back – not so much. I feel the cold. Feel it intensely. When life dictated that I spend an inordinate amount of time in an arena, the cold would seep into my bones and could only be removed by a warm bath, hot shower or cocooning in a warm blanket. Long johns, attractive as that concept may be, are my go-to resource to battle the insidious cold. I realize there are colder places in the country and that I am fortunate to have central heating and a roof over my head.
In the summer, as the thermometer reading skyrockets, you will hear no complaints from me. I rarely run air-conditioning in the car or in my home. “Feel the heat” is my mantra, not complain about it. Even if the temperature topples the mark where I may feel slight discomfort, I don’t mention it. And it is for this reason and this reason alone – I want to be able to complain about the cold with impunity. And I do.
Interestingly, while I was away there was another source of perceived sunshine I enjoyed. I had little to no access to (or perhaps more accurately no interest in) world news while I was away. I took a break from the BBC, CBC, CNN and FOX. It was a much-needed respite from the circus atmosphere of the office of comb-over-in-chief south of the border. In short, my Trump-free week was a delight.
It surprised me to learn how much the current American administration’s negative energy permeates the border and infects my daily life. I hadn’t realized the deleterious effect Trump and his merry band of wall- building supporters was having on me. How did we get here? It seemed we were on a path to a kinder, gentler society. One that celebrated diversity and accepted our differences. Truth be told, I sometimes wondered if the pendulum had swung too far, that we were losing too much of the traditions upon which this nation was built. I probably still do on some level, but when I look at the alternative, it appalls me.
As I watched a tiny bit of the memorial to the elder George Bush and realized that Trump was deliberately not asked to speak, I was relieved. How was that decision made? One would think that a sitting president from the same party would be asked to speak at the funeral of a former president. It seems incongruous but hearing “W” offer the eulogy made me remember how he was once derided for his speeches, how his Bushisms were once fodder for the late-night talk show hosts. Compared to the great Orange leader, “W” is a powerful orator! That just goes to show how far things have regressed with this man at the helm.
I was also reminded of the “Talking to Americans” segment I used to enjoy on This Hour has 22 Minutes. Rick Mercer was a master at masking his disbelief when listening to the answers offered by American politicians to his questions about Canada. After 9-11, Mercer refused to continue with the segment. I guess it seemed wrong to mock the Americans following such a tragedy. But just as I did then, I wonder how so many (and by no means am I including all) Americans have lived such insular lives that they cannot see the trouble this man is creating in their own country, and in their partnerships with peaceable nations, much less than those with high maintenance governments and more violent tendencies.
The impeachment word has been bandied about. Perhaps there is a reprieve in the offing. Although, I am loathe to think that after a few months of Pence in the Oval Office, we might be wishing for the return of ‘the Donald.’
In the interim, I am grateful for the sunshine and blue skies. The shortest day of the year is just around the corner. It has to get better from here out – or maybe I just need to take another news junkie hiatus someplace warm.