October 14, 2010

The Four Seasons

I've noticed a trend this week, as bloggers have begun to write about the change of seasons, both literally and figuratively. I am fortunate to live in a climate that truly has four seasons. I can honestly say that I don't have a favorite - there are things that I love about each one.

For years, my sister lived just a couple hundred miles to the south, but that was far enough to miss fall. Where she lived, the autumn months did not bring significantly cooler temperatures, so  the leaves just turned brown and fell off the trees. Where I live, the trees reward us by turning brilliant shades of yellow, scarlet, and fiery orange, as though they are summer's final curtain call. The humidity that plagues us from spring throughout the summer months disappears almost overnight, replaced by cooler days and wonderfully cool nights when the temperature generally dips into the forties or fifties. You can hear the leaves crunching under your feet, and enjoy the luxury of wearing a sweater, after months of often sweltering heat.

Before we know it, winter will be here, bringing the holidays and treasured time with family. There will be bright, sunny days and the evenings will bring the aroma of smoke from hearth-warming fires. With any luck, we'll have a couple of "snow days," those wonderful surprise days when we get to sleep late in the middle of the week and spend the whole day in pajamas, if that's what we want to do. I sleep best in the winter, the only time of the year that I can endure the weight of the covers over me. It's also when my cats most like to snuggle up against me at night.

By March, we're basking in some warm days mixed in with the cold, breaking out those transitional clothes that announce the change of seasons. Rain is a welcome change from winter's frozen precipitation. The redbud and Bradford pear trees are as beautiful as the oak and maple trees of fall. Neighborhoods are dotted with color as irises, tulips, and wisteria make their annual appearance.

As the days grow longer, summer brings outdoor concerts, evening walks in the park or along the river, and the opportunity to gaze at the stars. Early summer continues the thunderstorms of spring, bringing the rain that we know will be far less common by August. As it gets warmer, the emerald green trees against the blue sky are not only a delight to look at, but they also provide delightful shade.

None of the seasons is perfect. Fall and spring bring ragweed and pollen, winter often brings treacherous weather that is not necessarily accompanied by a snow day, spring brings a greater likelihood of tornadoes, and summer can bring horrendous heat. By the time each season ends, I'm ready for the next one. I'm always grateful, though, for the season that has passed, and the blessings that it brought.

Until next time,

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1


  1. one of the things i love about our climate is the four
    distinct seasons. spring-summer-fall-winter.

    each is about the same length, with summer over
    shadowing. i can make it through the long hot
    summers, knowing that the other three are coming.

    variety is the spice of life!

  2. We don't usually get a fall here, but I have to say that I love the idea of it. I love the colors, the pumpkins and the festivals even if our weather doesn't always corroperate.

    This year we have been lucky and actually had some fallish weather which has been a wonderful gift after our record high summer. I guess I'm like you, I always love the idea of the new season coming, and I'm never sad to see the old one go.

  3. dear margaret,

    i know i'm breaking the rules here but wanted
    you to know how my heart was touched by
    your thoughts on carrying another's burdens.
    when i first had a glimmer of the possibility
    of lightening another's burdens with my prayers,
    it seemed like an awesome privilege.


  4. Where I live there are also four distinct seasons, but their coming and going is not as gentle a transition.

    I do favor springtime and autumn most of all, as the two seasons herald either renewal or a summation, which for me provides a centering reflection on what can be, and what has been.

  5. Katy - My sister went to law school near you and now that she lives in Minnesota, she jokes about the lack of range to the seasons that she experienced there. When it's 80 degrees in Minnesota, she'll say, "You know what we called this weather where I once lived? Thanksgiving."

    Paula - "the two seasons herald either renewal or a summation" - I love that!

    Lea - You can break the rules anytime. Some doctor is supposed to have tried to figure out how much the soul weighs by weighing people right before and right after the moment of death. He found a slight difference, and of course there are those who think those can be explained by gases and such. There would never be a way to quantify it, but I can't help but wonder if those emotional burdens that weigh us down have an actual weight attached to them. It sure feels like they do. And if that's true, does that actual weight get transferred when we share burdens? That's on my list of questions to ask God...assuming I remember or care about any of my questions when that day comes.

  6. I love the changing of the seasons! In Denver, we are almost to winter. :( When we roll into the next season, I always ponder all my blessings over the last 4 months!

    Stopping by from LBS...

  7. Hello,
    we dont get too much of anything but summer here..it cools down a bit in the evening in october,but its warm untill Chirstmas. and once it was 99 degrees a week before Thanksgiving.

  8. Thank you for this reminder. I didn't grow up with 4 seasons but now that I have it, I realize it does play differently in your mindset. The passing of time becomes more tangible and that can be comforting in its own way.