I loathe and dislike the darkness and storm-lashed bad temper of winter, and I’m not too fond of the coldness of it either. I loathe them to the point, sadly, where I can’t always enjoy the summer the way I should because it will be followed by winter. ‘Ah yes’, I say to myself as the sun set fades at 10:30 on a downy summer’s evening, ‘but it’s all downhill from here; it’ll be gales and dark by 4.00 before I know it’.
How Calvinist. You’ll be punished for enjoying the good things god gave you. How much better to be miserable all of the time.
Then it struck me that the hard-line protestant religions, including Calvinism, are all either from the mountains or the north. They are from places with seasons, anyway; places where the winter is a dangerous endurance-test, rather than a mild interlude.
How much nicer to be an easy-going Catholic where it doesn’t really matter what you do, because the next day’ll be mild or warm or pleasant or wonderfully hot, and all you need to do to enjoy it is confess and get absolution. No bitter frosts, week-long gales, dead plants, damp houses, pneumonia, chilblains or frostbite for you. Just a couple of hail marys and go in peace and have a nice day.