Some three hours of straight-down chilly rain. Not only that day, but every late afternoon for two weeks. Half of July! In what I thought was one of the driest months in the northern hemisphere.

Not so on the western edge of Mexico City. At over 9,000 feet, last year’s July could have been a Nordic autumn. Lightning blinded and thunder pounded the trembling days. We are to learn, it seems, that what we expect (a sere July?) we ought not; and what we may need (a loyal companion?) might not come.

My brother wrote me that as a child he learned to sleep cold. “My formative years were spent in a poorly heated house. It had no insulation to speak of and that was during the nuclear winter. In cold snaps I would have up to an inch of ice on the inside of my bedroom closet window! I learned to sleep very cold and still have that habit today.”

He exaggerates the ice, of course. But did he sleep cold? Does he still at 80?

Can we inure ourselves to dearth, a single rune from death? Thrive in privation?

As the rime of winter waits, can we soar as we descend?

Daniel Bailey, a semi-retired educator from the USA’s Pacific Northwest, taught English 19 years at a university inside a gathering Venezuelan dictatorship amid the half of his life he’s lived abroad in seven countries (currently Mexico, in Cuernavaca). A past chess magazine editor good enough to know how bad he is as a player, Bailey’s work has appeared in the Bulletin of Language Science and Humanities, University of Technology, Nagaoka, Japan, and Northwest Chess Magazine.

See more of Daniel's work in 8.3 and 8.2 and 8.2 again

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