When I was 10 my family moved to the Lone Star State after a 7-year stint in Tennessee. There were quite a few differences between to two locales most notable of which was the lack of seasons in Texas where you’re far more likely to wear a t-shirt than a scarf at Christmas, spring turns into summer in a matter of days, the sun seldom sets before dinner and the AC is always running.
In my early 20’s I spent a few years living and studying in Scotland. I experienced enough days of cold, rain and biting wind there to make up for all of the tropical winters I’d had in Texas. Being so far north, the days concluded before they began in the winter and were endless come June. It was a rare day in August that the temps rose high enough to warrant dipping even a toe into the North Sea.
I felt cheated of winter when I lived in Texas and cheated of summer when I was in Scotland. And, it affected me. There is a certain clarity and assurance that results from the rhythmic progression of the seasons and further, fully embracing what each season holds and has to teach us. I think this is true of not only our physical lives but our spiritual ones as well; there is just as much beauty to behold in times of conflict, death, pain, darkness, cold and contemplation as when life is blossoming with a cacophony of events, joy and light. It may be a darker, less obvious kind of beauty but it is beauty nonetheless. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we try to force life to have the characteristics of a season different than the one we’re currently in. Brings to mind one of my favorite lines from Keats’ poem, To Autumn:
“Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—”
I don’t want to leave the seasons life grants prematurely; I want to be present and embrace what is happening around me, be it fallowness or growth.