I’ve been thinking ahead a lot lately. It’s that time of year when even the winter lovers are yearning for spring. I’ve always loved winter, but I miss the abundant sunshine, the warmth, the ability to wear flip flops outside. And all of this wishful thinking has led me to really think about the different seasons. I feel very fortunate to live in a place that truly has four very distinct seasons. We have pretty hard, cold winters, gorgeous warm springs, hot, sunny summers, and colorful, warm yet crisp falls. I don’t think I would enjoy living in a place that does not experience all four. I love each season and feel that each one ends just as I’m beginning to yearn for a change. We’re right on the cusp of that change right now, and I’m both sad that the slowness of winter is ending but very excited for the renewal of springtime that is starting to emerge. It is rather frigid and cold today (although the sun is shining very brightly), but everywhere there are signs that it is all about to change.
I love winter, despite the dreariness and cold. I delight in the freshly fallen snow and how it muffles the sounds of everything around me. There is little more peaceful than the quiet after a heavy snowstorm or walking underneath the street lights at night as big, fat snowflakes fall gently down. I love the way everything slows down, how we become a little less busy. Winter is the perfect time to get cozy under nice, warm blankets, drinking tea or cocoa while reading a good book. It is perfect for sitting next to a woodstove, perfect for baking. It is kicked off by the most wonderful time of the year (Christmas!!), which is filled with family, friends, good food, music, and all of the joys of the Christmas season (for all those that celebrate Christmas). As winter progresses, we begin to hibernate and get away from all of the distractions of a busy life. And yet, despite the cold, it is also a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy nature. The perfect time to go skiing or snowshoeing. I personally love hiking during the winter, especially through the woods. I love the way the snow builds up on tree branches and the silence that surrounds.
I love spring as well. The whole earth seems to reawaken from the hibernation of winter. The sounds of birds chirping wakes me each morning. The sun shines brightly, only interrupted by warm, spring rain that washes away the snow and grime that has built up over winter. Trees and plants begin to blossom and little leaves begin to sprout. The air smells sweet and we welcome the fresh air into our homes. Everyone seems to get happier and I yearn to get outside even more. Everything just seems brighter. The weather gets warmer and people begin to go on more walks and come up with any kind of excuse to get outside. It is the perfect season for picnics, digging in the earth, beautiful flowers, and sitting outside on the porch. It’s the perfect time to wear dresses and sandals and everyone’s steps begin to have a bit more spring in them.
I also love summer. The days are warm, sometimes downright hot, and it’s the perfect time to go swimming in a pool, river, pond, or lake. The days last longer, and the sun shines from early in the morning to later into the evening. The nights stay warmer, and are perfect for catching fireflies and walking around barefoot. The doors and windows of our house are always open, letting the fresh air and sunlight pour in. I jump at the chance to drink a glass of ice cold lemonade in the shade of our front porch. We bike ride and swim and spend lots of time outside in the sun. We grill our food, and eat outside on the porch. We spend time with friends and family. Our neighborhood gathers together for a picnic each year. We go camping and kayaking and hiking. We travel. We get stuff done both inside and outside our house. We garden and eat healthier. It is the perfect time to go berrying, and we spend many mornings at the blueberry patch before the sun gets too hot.
Fall is probably my favorite season. At this point, I am always ready to welcome the cooler air back. Everyone seems to settle back into life as school starts and the leaves begin to change colors. The weather is comfortable. The trees turn vibrant, beautiful colors: orange, red, and yellow. Children shriek in delight as they jump into piles of leaves. Our arms and backs ache after a good day’s work of raking and other outside chores, but we welcome the soreness. We harvest our gardens for the last time. We gladly attend sports games, cheering on our teams in the crisp fall air. We begin to bake often again and our homes are filled with the scents of our favorite treats. Life begins to quiet down once again.
I can’t imagine living without these four unique seasons. I think we need the change and need the pace to change. Each season brings with it a new feeling, a new attitude. And I think that is important.
Note: all photos taken by either me, or my brother, Christopher Ogden