I settled into a habit this summer of sitting out in the backyard with a beer and a book, under the shade of a maple tree, and it was good. A wonderful, simple pleasure. Basking in the heat. Maybe even living in the moment, once or twice, for a moment.
And then fall comes along, and though I regret the passing of warm weather and shorts and bare feet, and I’m not rapturously embracing the freezing weather to come, I like this season as well. The leaves change color and fall, revealing the stark branchiness of the trees, their bones prepared for death and rebirth. Brisk and windy days. I’ve even lost some of my resistance to raking, a thing I once loathed. I’ve grown used to it with the slow growth of our trees.
I enjoy the rituals of fall, like raking and putting hoses and chairs away. Maybe not so much doing the chores as the feeling of having done them, and being prepared for winter. And, after all the walking in the heat and too-crowded streets, this is a great time for walking the dogs.
Winter arrives, and with it, thankfully, no more lawn mowing. Most welcome is a reason to stay in the house without thought of outdoor pleasures and yard work foregone. Even extreme cold doesn’t bother me much, as long as our creaky electrical grid holds up, and natural gas flows to our home to warm us. The thing I like the least about winter is driving in the snow and ice, but I can largely avoid it.
Winter is too long, making spring a revelation. Life beginning again. Grass greening up and trees sprouting leaves and flowers popping out of the ground. Warmer temperatures, where a 40 degree day promises that summer is coming.
And now we’re back to summer, with better appreciation of the salvation and rebirth, thanks to the cold, snowy winter.
You may wish for a permanent summer, but you’d miss the changing seasons.