Say the word cold in June, July or the dog days of August and we all smile in anticipation of ice cream. In the thick of January we all know what cold means and quite frankly most of us want warm; as in hot chocolate to warm us up, and a sunny window for our pets. A nice warm seat in front of the fireplace is what we wish for while we navigate the treacherous ice at the grocery store parking lot to restock our supplies before the next invasion of snow.
In January Summer is the most beautiful word to keep tucked away as a secret weapon when the desire for seconds from the pasta bowl call you back. As brutal as that forty mile an hour wind screams by us in a temperature of ten degrees eventually we are going to see the thermometer rise to 95 degrees and we will to want to fit in to our shorts and sandals. So summer is in my inner arsenal during extreme cold weather; Summer.
Summer seems such a long way off in January and in July no matter how hot it is few of us would wish away the season. When cabin fever sets in that is an excellent time to thin out our closets and garages. Excess baggage comes in the physical kind and even the mental baggage we need to let go of. Many of us set out to remove bad habits with New Year’s resolutions but what about that repository of unwanted mental stress.
It is too cold to walk away our doldrums and retail therapy can be as bad as stress eating. Where to go when the weather is more than unpleasant? My choice is a museum and particularly an art museum and we have so many in our area it’s easy to do. Last month my partner and I took in a visit at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. There are several galleries to sit and ponder the work of the masters over the centuries. While we are seated gazing at the stunning works of Vincent van Gogh or Pierre-Auguste Renoir or even Hieronymus Bosch consider that while they were creating these timeless treasures they were also working through some of the daily stress we all do but without cell phones, polio vaccines, antibiotics and healthcare that may include bloodletting. We as a society have come a long way and it becomes all the more poignant looking at paintings that illustrate corseted women. Those women didn’t have a diet mantra; no they had a whalebone girdle laced up their back to remember to avoid overeating.
Savor the time in the heated galleries viewing masterpieces that have stood the test of time and then when sustenance is needed enjoy a gourmet lunch at The Garden Restaurant at the Barnes foundation. The food is delicious and they have a very nice wine list to compliment their locally sourced menu. If retail therapy is still needed the gift shop has a brilliant selection of books and other things to enjoy at home. Having a souvenir of your visit can make it easier to plan what you want to achieve in the future. William Morris didn’t just leave us beautiful wallpaper he also wrote, “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” And that I find is an excellent thought to keep in mind when editing our homes.
Tonight we may view our blue moon and also part three of The Guild, my mini graphic novella and while we have the outdoors and nature to fill our vision what would we as individuals become if we had no art but what we created ourselves? Enjoy each day to the fullest including the frosty ones, because they make Summer all the sweeter.