In the morning it was there again, the snowman with a piece of blue rag tied around its neck. If his windows hadn't looked out on the meadow he wouldn't have minded so much. But every morning there it was, the snowman with the blue scarf. He could see it from every window at the back of the house. If it had just been a snowman without any identifying marks it wouldn't have bothered him. The blue scarf made it plain, it was supposed to be he. Effigy in snow, hilarious.
It was his only luxury, a blue cashmere muffler given to him by a parishioner and only after she had bought it as a Christmas present for a husband whose untimely death had made it superfluous.
He didn't really have nice things, first because his congregation was too poor and second he deemed it unfitting for a man of the cloth. But it was the cloth that was getting him down, a raggedy piece of blue he threw on the fire daily only to have it reappear the following day tied between the snowman's head and amorphous blob of a body.
He hated the snow. Not the Christmas season but the snow, the cold dark days wore on him, there wasn't enough hot cider, eggnog or forced Christmas cheer to animate him. The whole Eastern Currier and Ives-ness of it dashing through the snow was depressing.
'Lucky Pointsett' was all he could think. First Ambassador to Mexico, bringer of botanical oddities and even Secretary of War for a while. Mexico, how he'd love to have a congregation there. Not much call for an Episcopalian parson in Mexico, New Mexico or Arizona had lots of people who wintered in the Southwest. Why couldn't he be their shepherd? It would be hot and maybe he would wear sandals and the bright relief of red potted flowers would look at home, not out of place in the snow.
He could take a joke he told himself. The growing impulse to knock the thing back into the meadow, to exorcise it as the Catholics would was tempered by his desire not to look ridiculous. It was enough that he marched out every morning to get rid of the scrap of blue, stuffing it into his while looking furtive.
Yet he knew he must live in concordance with his snowman as a personal trail and example. Plus he thought, 'The Winter can't last forever'.
Merry Christmas, may you live in concordance with your snowman.
Ever Your Thimble Servant,
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