Summer Verses Winter

With all the nineties degree days this summer, Isaia’s blast and the recent drought warnings from our mayor, I longed for autumn. Even winter doesn’t seem relentless when I have to endure the roar from the air conditioner, feel the sun steam my sandals on the hot sidewalk, witness the blue and pink Hydrangeas in my garden beginning to brown. That’s when I long for a cup of hot coffee and a raisin scone, sit at the window that overlooks the backyard where the trees will begin to paint the leaves in red, gold, and russet. Yet, soon, I will begin to wish for the sun’s warm rays, await the garden catalogs in the mail to replace flowers that didn’t hold up last year. We’re never satisfied, it seems.

I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it’s always spring. It’s the season when the first ribbons of cut grass rise up into the chilly breezes; the leaves peek out to calculate if it’s safe to bloom along the limbs. It’s also the time when I bring the laundry outdoors to dry in the early hours to be revitalized by the sunshine. They’re usually in the basement drying during the winter time. There’s something satisfying in bringing in and folding kitchen towels and bath towels that give me a sense of being a useful person, if that makes any sense.

Taking walks around the lake in the park in the winter is a bit trying. But, I do it for a respite from the chores that await me at home. Summer strolls are not the same. The heat, the other joggers who, unlike me, dress appropriately, the goose poops, all are reasons that send me home where the daily chores seem less constricting.

There’s no doubt that summer and spring are prettier months, but winter is a respite from the demands of garden work that takes me outdoors to weed and trim and plant. Indoor activities, like dusting, cleaning, straightening, repairing are saved for the long winter that makes me long for spring.

These days I recall with nostalgia the summers spent at Cape Cod, times when my husband, kids and I went to the Cape to watch the whales show-off their tumbling and splashing, and playing like kids in the cold water. Summers, that were so full of good times whether at the Cape or in Greece, whether at the New Jersey shore or Florida, are now fond memories with our ‘at home’ existence due to the Virus. I wonder how long it will be before we see Cape Cod or Greece again.

When I review memories of those summers and the snowy winters spent in Vermont with friends, it would be hard to vote on which season was most enjoyable. I suppose it’s being with the welcoming relatives and friends we are with at the time, not the season that creates the fond memories.

These days I’ve learned to be happy staying rooted in my home, a home that took me many years to make cozy, comfortable, pretty, and a place that reflects each season appropriately. Summer brings indoors the tomatoes, zucchini, blue hydrangeas, and coreopsis.  Winter decorates the living room with whatever holiday is at hand. But, no matter the season, I can count on neighbors greeting each other like old friends and wishing one another good health and happy holidays.

Maybe each season has its own joys and it is left to us to embrace it for whatever it has to offer. One person, alone, cannot bring comfort and joy to someone who is pessimistic or complaining. It must be a fool’s endeavor to believe that. So, I suppose the real ambition of enjoying each season is up to us. Still, I can’t help smiling and trying to fix someone’s disposition. Or, reminding them that life is not forever, that we are, mainly, the creators of our own good times. Whether frigid winters arrive with snow that cover the earth with a white blanket, or, summer brings the blistering heat that makes us sweat uncomfortably, it is up to us to gaze upward, watch the fluttering butterfly and the soaring hawk in the vast blue sky, savor the rose that unveils its soft petals hoping to please our eyes.

If we had the choice of voting for which season is best, I wonder which would gain the most votes?


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