The Seasons and The Hot Summer Day
When I was growing up in the northern mid-west of the US, we always looked forward to the seasons. Each one of them brought a change in attitude, and every season signified something special in some way. I recall as a child I thinking of summer to be those warm days where some days were really hot and the bright sun that you would feel on your skin would be the fuel for a days worth of playing, like sunshine was energy. There would be humid days where everyone would comment “it’s not the heat that’s bad, it’s the humidity”. That too would pass as one of those huge storms would conger up the bursts of thunder and lighting, but also bring the breath of fresh air after the storms. Refreshing you like magic, with cool air the likes of something you hadn’t sucked into your lungs in some time.
Then there was fall. Autumn. Colors of the trees, the crisp night air and the smell of burning leaves. Some days would be wet and the trees and leaves would smell musty. There would be that day when it would rain a cold rain, a hard rain that would put shivers down your neck if you were out in it. By the next day all the leaves would be almost all gone, and the sky would turn a defiantly grey tone letting everyone know winter was knocking.
Oh those winters. In northern states, they could be brutal. Cold on top of cold, ice coated with ice. Cars not starting, cold winds shuddering the outside walls of my home. There would be days where it was so cold a deep breath would hurt and you would know it was time to get from one place to another and not stand out in it. There would be snow, but on those cold days it would crunch like styrofoam under your boots. Almost squeaking with the reminder that you better walk briskly but be mindful of the ice patches underneath. THere were even those lovely “snow days” where schools would be closed, work places too. The snow was so high and thick you weren’t going anywhere and everyone else was in the same place as you. Watching out the window for a break so you could start to shovel out.. peaceful, but cautious we would enjoy the day that nature provided a break.
Spring would start the cycle again. the newness of the grass before the first cut. The trees not exactly full of leaves, but running sap and getting ready for the warm days ahead. Fresh spring rains. Life showing up again in the backyard. Squirrels, birds and bugs. All the time knowing summer was on the other side of all of those spring showers.
So I do miss the seasons. Living in Northern Texas now, it seems like the Texas summers are like those cold winter days in the north. I escape in doors from the heat (104 degrees Fahrenheit today) that will hang around for weeks (maybe months). But I know that in the fall we can lounge in the yard, take long walks in the park. In the winter we can put on a light jacket and say “my how cold it is today” when freezing temps aren’t even in the forecast. All the while others in the north, they will be getting ready for their cold days and icy challenges, pulling out the boots and heavy coats.
I can handle the southern heat knowing that is coming. But there are days when I truly miss the changing seasons. This hot summer day is one of them.