An evening walk during the Christmas season is uplifting for the spirit even if one’s nose glows like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer’s with the cold. I stop here and there admiring the lawns lit up with reindeer. They remind me of the patronus charms in the Harry Potter series and make me smile. If there were this many patronuses around us, the dementors would have no chance would they?
One particularly wind whipped evening, I was out on a brisk walk. Brisk, partly to get warm, but partly because the winds were pushing me along with vigor. I was trying to keep my umbrella from flipping, and I was more distracted than usual. I did not stop to admire the trees swaying in the winds, and only managed to skittle away when a largish twig or two broke off from the branches above.
When I stepped into the house a few minutes later, I said to the son, “ I saw the drunken polar bears lying on their sides, while the penguins huddled together like they do during the harsh winters in the Antarctic!”
“What?!” He said laughing. He looked happy and warm epitomizing the Hygge sentiments the Eastern Europeans gave us a word for. He was reading a book, listening to music and munching cookies with warm milk. His hair was plastered down and looked almost kempt (not unkempt but not exactly tidy). I, on the other hand, came back with half the hair on my head pointing towards Iceland and the other half making a distinct beeline for Patagonia in South America.
It was after a dog out on a walk with its owner gave me an annoyed bark that I snapped to my senses and folded the umbrella. I had been wielding the umbrella like Captain America and his shield, and having as much success as a muggle producing a patronus charm. The winds were making me stagger and I hadn’t noticed the poor dog out on its evening walk till I almost walked into said dog. I stopped and looked contrite enough for the dog to give me a lopsided nod of the head before proceeding. The absence of the umbrella dance, and the amused expression on the dog’s face seemed to tickle a nerve somewhere, and the rest of the walk took on a gentle humor of its own.
The Christmas decorations were having a whale of a time in the gale force winds, and I was bursting with the joy of this whimsical take on the Christmas decorations in the neighborhood. I wondered what the deer that usually graze nearby thought of their patronus like brethren. Were they worried by the bright polar bears, chipmunks and Santa Clauses? How would it be to really fathom what the animals thought of us and our customs, and our lifestyles? I remember reading a short story by Louisa May Alcott a while ago on a girl who could talk to birds.
“Here is a riddle for you! The polar bears are lying drunk, while the penguins ..”
He gave me a mock-sorry look, and said, “Let’s get you warm – the cold has gotten to you maybe?” he said shepherding me away from the door lest I ask him to step out.
I pointed to the window and the son guffawed at the drunken-bear-penguin-dance take on the Christmas decorations on the lawns in the neighborhood.
P.S: Wind Classifications
The wind classification charts that I managed to look up once I was safely tucked in bed after feeling had crept back into the extremities said that the winds outside had been either a level 7 or level 8 wind meaning gale force winds.