The Cruelest Month

T. S. Eliot described April as “the cruelest month.” With apologies to the poet, a British April cannot compare to a Georgia January. The first month of the New Year is dreadful, dreary, and dull.

Post-holiday blues fade to black. After the extraordinary holiday season, ordinary days feel so bland and boring. Gifts charged during December visit us like Ghosts of Christmas Past. Stores that offered easy credit now expect cold cash.

North Georgia’s climate is no winter wonderland. Temperature and humidity yoyo. Shirt-sleeve weather follows down-coat storms. If you don’t like the weather in Georgia, just wait—it will change tomorrow!

However, January could qualify as “the kindest month,” too. The New Year offers fresh starts and new beginnings. The future glows bright with promise. With a little discipline and determination, resolutions can come true.

The bleak landscape boasts a beauty all its own. The fractal outlines of oaks against a winter sky are breathtaking. The intricate etchings of frost rival the grandest artwork. Seeds nurtured in Mother Earth’s womb prepare for birth in the spring.

Southern comfort can be found beside a warm fireplace with a mug of cocoa. Simmering vegetable soup served with piping hot cornbread nourishes the soul. When snow threatens, lining up to buy milk and bread makes the season merry and bright.

Every season has a beauty all its own that is enhanced in comparison and contrast with the other three seasons. Winter, spring, summer and fall—along with every season of life—possess both cruelty and kindness. Our perspective determines what we experience.

January? There’s no finer time to live in Georgia!

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