I live in Southern California, where they say we don’t experience the changing of seasons. While it’s true that in my area, most leaves don’t turn colors in the fall, the green shoots of springtime may be observed in gardens all year long, and I have never once seen a snowflake, I believe there are still seasons to be observed and enjoyed.
I believe in School Season, when the elementary school across the street is crowded with small figures in bright new clothes, and I hear the high pitched polyglot chatter of little kids discovering classes and each other all over again. Like colorful birds, they flock to the park next door, their watchful mothers walking in pairs through the neighborhood.
I believe in Holiday Season, when the school will be silent for a while, but not before there are pageants and construction paper decorations. Holiday Season is bright and sunny and filled with cookies and laughter, but it’s also filled with pushy sales events and endless recorded caroling. Holiday Season culminates in the New Year, though, and that’s always a wonderful time of good intentions and weight loss commercials.
I believe in the still, cool days of the Gray Season. It’s not really gray outside as the sun dutifully rises in a weak arc and if there are two frosty nights together, it’s a newsworthy occurrence. But it is too soon to think of beaches and summer holidays, and I believe the long months of January and February are a taste of soup weather. March sometimes brings a day or two of rain, when the freeways are crazy and everyone talks about flash floods and natural disaster. I believe in this season where the smell of smoke in the air doesn’t signal a brush fire, but rather that the temperature has fallen below 68 and fireplaces are a novelty in use.
Then, like a wide grin, Summer bursts over the horizon with warm days and the promise of poolside barbecues. I believe the walls of my house nearly disappear as we spend early mornings, afternoons and evenings outside, sometimes even sleeping on porch or patio at the height of the summer heat. I believe that from March through September, Summer reigns. When School Season starts, Summer is reluctant to let go, and they hold court together, two seasons as one, until the end of Daylight Savings Time signals the beginning of the Holiday Season again, and the circle continues.
I believe in these personal seasons, touched by human activity and the absolutes of nature.
I believe the seasons keep us on track, letting us know when to look up and reminding us with regular familiarity to enjoy everything in its own time.
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