This I Believe

Alexander - West Bloomfield, Michigan
Entered on October 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

The Importance of Seasonal Duality

This summer has been one of the greatest and simultaneously one of the worst of my life. In the matter of a couple months, my entire life has changed. I have gained and lost a home, money, weight, sanity, and have let go of the first and possibly most significant relationship of my life. I have not changed at my core, but I have changed everything around it. Land masses have moved, forests have suffered, the sun has eclipsed, and volcanoes have doused the world in ash. One might, and should ask how this can happen in a single summer. I think I have an explanation.

In Michigan, where I live, and other northern states, I believe we are given a gift. This gift is that of opposites. Opposites in our climate are at the surface, however opposites in all other aspects of life are tied to this climate change. Sometimes in the winter, we can see this most evident in a strange beast called seasonal depression. Although I have never suffered from this, it does indeed exist, and there are those who go full throttle into the summer, and by the winter they are crashing. I view these opposites as a gift for the exact same reason that the seasonal depressionist views them as a curse. Through the less brilliant seasons, we watch nature slowly die around us. We are hindered in all our attempts at carefree life. Life seems to come to a stop around us, and we go into societal hibernation. The only fun that occurs during this time, is that which we make for ourselves. We come from the trenches and force ourselves into crowded bars and clubs, and try to find others who are willing to ward off Death with us. Everything in the winter is a struggle. Survival, albeit easier than it was years ago, is still a struggle. And this is our gift. Winter is that which gives us strength. It builds up our wits and our defenses, and delivers us into the summer so sore from the fight, that for those few precious months, we have the ability to truly live. We are privy to a knowledge which will never be had by those hiding themselves in warm climates. We understand what it is to truly let go and have fun, because we know what it is to fight for that reward.

So comes the end of the summer, and with it, we must pick back up. The world will spin whether we let it or not. We have relinquished control of our lives and taken up the defensive. We will gather our school books, briefcases, suits, heavy clothing and for some, even our hardened hearts. We will gather our forces in the autumn for the oncoming battle, and battle we will. Fight away the winter again and again, because next year brings another summer and the sun on your face will only feel better the longer you fight and hope.