I used to love summer – the hot days, the sandy beach and the long hours of daylight. I don’t love it anymore. I like it, but I don’t love it!
I used to hate winter with its cold blustery or rainy days. Too few light hours and far too many dark – a time to stay indoors and remember the sun. I don’t hate winter anymore. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. I’ve learned to appreciate its benefits and its magic.
Winter is the owner of many things I do love – a warm blazing fire that coaxes old memories to surface once more. Of “together” times when only the moment made sense. Christmas nestles in winter – a happy colourful time of song and sacred hymns… of wishes and hopes… of goodwill and feeling it is okay to talk to strangers and ask them of their well-being. A time of glancing back over a year… a year of both joy and regrets and wondering why time flies by so quickly and why your children are ever so slowly shedding their innocence to enter into struggle.
January and February are often cold and chilly months of snuggling down for a long winter’s nap. Snow to carpet the feet of the season and icy wind that, at times, pounds on your windows. And the comfort we have knowing we don’t have to let it in.
February whispers of spring – distant and yet close – filled with dreams of outside comfort and the smell of newly mowed grass and the happy singing of birds of all stripes. A short month of shadows and grey skies, but a month bursting with promises of resurrection and newness, of birth and rejoicing.
And then spring! Perhaps early or perhaps late. It really doesn’t matter because it’s unstoppable – alive in its own creation. The odors of a changing earth, the gathering of new buds on barren branches. How wonderful is spring? It is a season to be loved always.
And then the bravado of summer. Boasting of its prowess as it chases away all that is not of its own creation. Often battering the earth with its fists of fire causing the forests and fields to cry out for mercy as they long for the skies to flood the earth with its tears and sustenance to times of danger and destruction. Summer comes often without mercy.
Autumn then arrives to sweep away the debris and prowl the earth, hungry for change, its mighty winds shaking the trees until their leaves fall off and then scurry across the ground seeking safety, all the while knowing there is none. Its roar rattles windows warning of the cold maker that follows at its heels… howling in its tantrum that it rules, and summer has retreated… no longer the bully it thought itself to be.
Then, once more, the hearth is aglow. Snow shovels are liberated, memories gathered as snowflakes begin to change the landscape from brown, green and rust to pillows of white resting on branches where birds preened and sang such a short time ago, silent, waiting for the quiet to settle before the winter winds begin to whine.
Christmas waves from a distance and prepares itself to dodge the barbs of the supposed “politically correct” who would like to keep the wrapping and throw away its content.
Squeals of children on hills of snow, red-cheeked and eager for fantasy to tip toe in and, for a while, borrow their minds to partake of a magical journey that will carry them beyond the stars.
Darkness once more arrives early and will only allot a brief time to daylight… then recapture that which was let go with pouting reluctance.
Seasons remind us that all things change – becoming different yet remaining the same – each demanding an inventory of what will never be again.
As winter trumpets its arrival with frost and shivers, we will collect books to read that time would not allow in the more pleasant months. Now they call forth a new vigor to explore their pages and share their adventure. A time to recollect the tears and laughter that celebrated our journey from yesterday to today.
The great circle that has no beginning and no end revolves until time resets its weary head and suggests, perhaps, we are not as important as we may think we are. That change never changes and that tomorrow is simply a reflection of today.
Winter allows moments for contemplation. Perhaps not as comfortable as summer, but oh, so much wiser.
NOVEMBER 2013 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE
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