I’ve been awake since four and out of bed since five. We’ve had cloudy skies since Wednesday and quite a bit of rain. The weather forecast is calling for more cloudy skies today and a high of 58 degrees. 58! That’s cool weather, that’s sweatshirt or windbreaker weather. I look at my inventory of jackets, coats, sweaters, sweatshirts and long sleeve stuff and I do have some choices. But usually, I pull one out of the closet and put it on and it becomes my Winter garb until I strip it off on a warm Spring day sometime in March.
Many have been mentioning the change of seasons and every one of them tell us that Autumn is their favorite time of the year. I think about this and at one time or another, every season is my favorite. Winter, with its solitude and darkness, the dormancy of the plants and animals. The stillness, quietness of the land. The birds come around in droves to feed where we have placed seed, but I don’t hear them sing. I guess the crows are still vocal, as if they are talking to someone in the morning time.
|A snowy scene in Michigan's Upper Peninsula|
Winter’s stillness and silent cold can mesmerize. I remember living way up North in Minnesota, up along the Canadian border near Grand Portage. I used to think that the silence is deafening. Easy to be in the now and be mindful when all one can hear is his breathing. I love the chances I’ve had to experience 40 below zero, or be in a snowstorm where you couldn’t see your feet in front of you. Did you know that forty below zero Fahrenheit is the same in Celsius? I have had a love affair with Winter, and although sometimes it is cold and uncomfortable, it gives me appreciation for Springtime and the rebirth of the Sacred Earth Mother.
Spring brings longer periods of sunlight and warmer breezes. A freshness to the air as the snow melts away and reveals the grass. The lakes thaw and reflect the sun and water flows in rivers and steams. The trees bud and flower, the birds sing out loud, the insects fly and crawl, the fish are hungry and jump for joy. The plants bear their young and so does nature with the manifestation of zygote.
|Last of the Winter snow melting away|
Spring is a time of preparation. Getting ready to sow seeds in the ground and plan time outdoors, canoe trips, hikes, bike rides and just plain leisure time. We plan in Spring. Spring is dream time, and these dreams awaken in Summer. In Summer, we enjoy bountiful daylight. The farther North you are in this hemisphere, the longer the light of day stays lit. I’ve never experienced the midnight sun of the Arctic. Maybe this year.
Summer has its storms, visits from the Thunderbeings that bring rain, the life blood of Mother Earth. The water to which all things are connected and allows all life to flourish and be nurtured. The sunshine and water together with the gift of soil feeds us and sustains us all. I love Summertime and the prospect of fulfilling the ideas we dreamed about last Spring.
|Summer activities, having fun!|
The cycle continues and the daylight hours become shorter, the weather gets cooler, the winds blow harder telling us it’s time to adjust and get ready as another change is coming, but first, we have the softness of Autumn. The colors of the leaves change from their vivid green to a plethora of palleted colors. Orange, bronze, umber, red, yellow and all shades in between. They fall from the trees and bushed, gently at first, then violently from North winds that crush any warmth in the air to get ready for the time when the natural world rests and rejuvenates in Winter for the next Spring. I love the Fall for its peacefulness and low slung sundrops, long shadows and crispness.
|The beautiful colors of Autumn|
In the weather, folks talk in passing about the days forecast. “It’s gonna be bad weather again today, more rain predicted.” I can’t share this sentiment. The weather is what it is, it can not be either good or bad in and of itself. It may be bad for what you planned on doing that particular day, but the weather itself can’t be bad. Nature cannot be wrong. Even storms are a natural thing. When we build homes on flood plains, it is us that get in the way of nature doing its business, not anything wrong with nature.
I feel the same about the seasons. I love them all. I can savor moments in any of them. A warming sun with a cool breeze in Fall, a crisp sunny February day in Winter, the fresh smell and feel of Spring on my cheeks and the warmth and pleasure of Summer. None of them bad, all of it good, expected and appreciated.
Today, high of 58 degrees, a chance of showers and mostly cloudy. Sunny tomorrow, with a hint of warmth at 62. I’m sure that all this hubbub about Fall will cease when the change to Winter is complete. But there will be those that will love it, savor it and enjoy realizing what nature gives us.
And those from other parts of the world, down in New Zealand and Australia, your seasons are opposite ours, but have the same. Those in Florida see it differently than I do up here in the Northland and those in Arizona see it differently than the Floridians. All relative to ones personal taste and outlook. These are my thoughts about the seasons. What are yours?