Folks who live here then move away for points south often say they miss the seasons. I've headed for the south in the wintertime and it certainly is weird to dig through closets looking for summertime clothing when I've just located all my ski duds. And Christmas decorations when it's 75-80 degrees out? Very weird.
But the more I thought about it, it's not the seasons that I appreciate, not any particular season, anyway, it's the transitions. (Maybe I'm at the age where simply surviving another season is a benchmark to be celebrated.)
I've often thought that September 1 should be New Year's Day. Doesn't virtually every activity fire up then? School starts, the NFL is underway, organizations that skip summer meetings are all rolling again. And even before the leaves change, there are hints of autumn. Visiting the Farmers' Market early on Saturdays was fantastic. It's pretty chilly there at 8:00; feels like fall. And the selection of fresh vegetables was terrific. The harvest season is certainly a transition, and one that's really hard to beat.
Certainly there will be more warm, sunny days, but it's sights and smells of fall that I really enjoy. All you need in one person in the neighborhood to burn some leaves.
Next will come that transition from frosty mornings to cold rain, to frozen ground, and then to snow as winter arrives. By then the days will be shorter and we'll adjust our internal and external clocks. I'll dig out long sleeve shirts and sweaters. Yes, I'm looking forward to that! It's pretty easy to bundle up to get warmer. Can't wait to get out skiing.
Providing there's enough snow to play in for a few months, I'll be ready for the next change. There will come a day in the spring when it's not just bright with clear skies and sunshine, the breeze will actually feel warm. As if the weather and the spring flowers aren't enough, I'm planning to do a little fishing. I've spent days on the streams when the mornings were freezing and the afternoons balmy. I remember how wonderful those days were and it doesn't matter that I don't remember if I caught any fish. Probably didn't. Just being out there is enough.
Then things really heat up. It's uncomfortably warm in the sun and hot and sticky even through the nights. Oddly, this is my least favorite time of year. A little too cool appeals to me a lot more than a little too warm. We certainly had some unusually hot weather this past summer and I don't miss those days.
Ahhhh then comes the transition to coolness and the cycle repeats.
The four seasons have been celebrated many ways over time. Vivaldi even wrote a symphony about them. I'm all for adding the four transitions. Who's going to argue with eight seasonal celebrations a year? 'tis the winter season, almost bring it on!
Gary Lester directs Leadership Warren and is a counselor with Family Services of Warren County, a charitable agency that provides counseling, substance abuse services, and support groups to individuals, couples, and families. Like its Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/fswcinc and invite your friends and family to do the same.