It’s great to live in a place that has such changes of season. Sure, idyllic life on tropical islands has its appeal, but I’ve never known that so won’t miss it I guess.
Moving through the seasons is like an annual reminder of the larger circle in which we linger, that of our own mortal lives. Metaphors speak of the “springtime” of one’s life, call out May-December marriages, and observe happenings that occur “once in a blue moon”.
I’ve recently chosen not to choose a favorite season.
Lots of folks love summer, our own short piece of idyllic tropical life, doled out in 3-month stints. Shirtsleeves or less, the smell of mown grass, flowers, swimming, vacations and camping. Naps in the hammock, afternoons by the lake, long days with sunset stretching the light out ’til nine o’clock. What’s not to love about summer?
Winter does nothing by half-measures. People love winter or despise it and rarely fall between the two extremes. Some will ski and ice-fish and snowshoe and snowmobile gleefully through the most inhumane conditions with mile-wide smiles and bright eyes gleaming beneath frosty eyebrows. Others will build warm fires and libraries, and take up origami and macrame, fly tying and model-building, one-eyed tv watching and after-lunch couch-napping.
Spring! Spring has the heart and eye of every poet born to the art. Spring leaps to mind in metaphors for everything from circles and cycles to hopes and dreams. From the embryonic starts of life itself to the romance needed to keep the chain going. Change! No more dark, no more brown, but green and yellow! No more snow-covered ground but…well, mud-covered ground (especially in the kitchen)..but soon to be green!
Alas, there is Fall. Autumn has so many colors, smells and flavors. We enjoy the Earth’s bounty as all around us she prepares to mothball the northern hemisphere and concentrate on summer in Australia. Noisy flocks of Canada geese and silent flocks of European starlings assemble overhead to begin their southern trek. Apples are ready to fall from trees, pumpkins are ready to be spared from frosts only to be sacrificed to Halloween.
As the air cools with these advancing autumn evenings, our instincts tell us to prepare the dens for the winter.
I don’t remember when it began, maybe it’s a past-halfway thing in life, but fall finds me reminded of the unwavering march of time. As we stare into the barrel of another winter, I am reminded of life’s own circle.
We each are born in late winters, grow through our springs, enjoy the short summer of marriage; children, living and loving, learning. As each year passes we find ourselves closer to the autumn of our lives, and as we vow to enjoy every moment of it, we may turn around one day to discover the trees are bare.
You can regret and mourn the approach of winter.
Or you can learn to fish through the ice.
Be at peace,