Do not be fooled by the current conditions outdoors: like all good things they are ethereal and serve only to remind you just how transient happiness is in even its most relative state. No, this short spate of temperatures that could be best described as "not freezing" will swiftly give way to the resumption of the perpetual cold under which we have been crushed since what seems like time immemorial. But there is good news on the horizon: the week's end will find us in a climate that actual forecasters are calling "less harsh." I am not one to belabor the opportunity to tease out a metaphor and extend it until it is so stretched and brittle that simply the hint of close examination might cause it to snap, so I will just say that, given the way we get as we grow older and start to focus on the futility of all our efforts and how, in our increasing fragility, we become less inured to the common brutalities both intentional and inadvertent that are meted out upon us and which we mete out in turn, perhaps the best we can hope for while we wind down our days—understanding full well that it is more than we deserve—is the occasional respite of a life "less harsh" even as we are resigned to the knowledge that the season of our souls will stay stuck on winter and no amount of emotional climate change will warm us up on the inside. But I guess you should still try to get out there right now, who the hell knows when we're going to see the 40s again?