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Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Chill of Man's Ingratitude





“Blow, blow, thou winter wind.  Thou are not so unkind as man’s ingratitude.”
 William Shakespeare

This line in Shakespeare’s poem has haunted me since I was a teenager.  The poem was set to music and we sang a beautiful choral arrangement of it in high school.  Since I can remember, the lyrics to any given song have been more important to me than the tune.  It has to mean something to me in order for me to give it a second listen or to consider it for singing.  While it would seem that my love for winter alone would draw me to this song, it isn’t so much that.  It is the idea of man’s ingratitude being more unkind than the bitter winds of winter.  I have felt the chill of a wintery wind when the temperatures were below freezing.  When I wake up knowing that it is bone-chilling cold and can hear the wind howling outside our window I have the sense to bundle up before I leave home. Cold air to me is refreshing; exhilarating even.  It makes me feel alive when I am prepared for it. Occasionally though, just as I take a breath, a sudden gust of wind circles in and takes my breath away for what seems like minutes.  I find myself grasping for something to cover my face with so that I can catch my breath. 

I realize that my perspective of winter is different than most, because I really do love this season.  But there are those who are immobilized by the cold and snow of winter.  They have to rely on others to bring them what they need.  To these friends, winter is their prison; an icy hell that keeps them from enjoying life to its fullest. To those whose lives are virtually put on hold for this season, winter really is unkind.  But even so, is it, as Shakespeare suggests, as unkind as man’s ingratitude? 

At the end of each day I give thanks for something.  It may be as small as the gift of laughter or as large as the gift of life.  I am determined not to let ingratitude be my life’s theme.  I am determined not to let the winter winds seem more inviting than the words that I speak to another.

Today I am thankful for the opportunity to share this with you.  What are you thankful for?

Thank you for stopping by.

Amy Lynn Michael

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