The seasons are on the change again – this time from summer to fall. I know the exact order of my preferences for the seasons – summer, fall, winter and my least favorite, spring. I suppose season preferences are somewhat dictated by the place you live and your own disposition.
Summer is glorious and darkness comes so late in the evening. The warmth remains even after darkness. The only injustice of summer is that the longest daylight of the year should not come so early in the season. Fall offers some of the finest days to be imagined. Winter is wild and beautiful, but also dismal, cold and dark. To me, spring is interminable and a tease. Just when you think summer may be coming, it snows again.
But, as much we complain about the seasons and the weather, it’s hard to imagine how boring life would be if summer was, as the Beach Boys put it, “endless”. So, as we enter another fall, I am trying to be positive about the end of summer, and the coming trek through spring.
Jim Bishop once wrote that “autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” What is this gold?
- Incredible chances to travel (and paddle) with fewer crowds.
- Crisp air
- Beautiful colors
- Football and the World Series
- Crunching sound of leaves when you walk
I think John Steinbeck said it best when he wrote, “what good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness”. Winter has some other good benefits:
- Snow (at least the first snows, even if you have to shovel or scrape)
- Holidays and family time
- Cold clear nights when you can see the stars and your breath
- Naps always are great on a dark winter day
- Winter sports (skiing, snowshoeing, skating…)
For better or worse, we should remember what Jim Borland wrote: “no winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
Ok, now it gets tougher to stay positive. Fall was great, winter was survivable, but spring is, at least to me, the real “endless” season. The first feeling of warmth on your skin is quickly replaced by more windy, wet cold. But, I am trying to focus on the positive, and as Leo Tolstoy wrote, “spring is the time of plans and projects”. I like plans and projects. I also like that:
- The days start getting longer
- It gets easier to walk the dog
- Buds on trees (finally)
- Putting the snow blower away
- Getting the garden and yard ready for the coming growing season
See. Spring really isn’t that bad and, of course, it does lead into summer – a paddler’s favorite time. Which brings us full-circle back to a final thought about fall from Stanley Horowtiz.
“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” Savor the mosaic.
Paddle On. Be Free.