One often misses a lot of things during long-term travel. Sometimes they’re obvious things like being able to drink tap water, being able to find good cheese (or any cheese that isn’t just processed oil), and the decreased likelihood of encountering a good cup of coffee. No, Nescafe does not count as good coffee. I’m not sure it should even deserve to use the word “coffee” in its description. But some things aren’t so obvious, like missing something as simple as the changing seasons.
Most of our life has been spent in places that have four discernible seasons—winter, fall, spring, and summer. For the last 2-1/2 years, we’ve pretty much only been experiencing the three H seasons of hot, hotter, and hell.
We had a very short exposure to typical fall weather while in southern Spain for a week a year ago. We spent the rest ‘of “fall” and a good chunk of winter in Morocco, which really doesn’t have a typical (for us) fall and winter.
When I can wear shorts during the day in winter, it isn’t winter to my body.
We had a brief reminder of cold while we spent 2 weeks in France. Later we had our 2nd winter of the year in Oz and New Zealand, but neither were especially cold.
After having had over 2 years worth of essentially summer, I’m definitely over that season. As well as the three H’s.
Fall is my favorite season with spring being a close second. Fall is all about transformation for me. The air turns from hot to pleasant days with a special type of crispness to the air. During much of fall, you can wear a T-shirt outside, but when you breathe in there’s that slight chill to the air that makes your cheeks get a bit cold. When night comes, the temperatures dip. I start craving soups and stews, and nothing beats the feeling of wrapping my chilled fingers around a cup heated from within by a hot beverage. With my bedroom window open, my room is that perfect temperature to cozy up underneath the blankets and drift into a deep slumber. Not too hold, not too cold.
In winter, I don’t want to get out from the underneath the blankets, but in fall your feet don’t freeze as easily.
I love how the leaves turn colors. As the tree withdraws its energy from its adornment, the leaves change color. Finally, the tree actually pushes the leaf off so that it can store the energy it will need to get it through winter.
I love that symbolism, and it’s a great reminder for life—When something is draining or taking from us, it’s better to push it away so that we have energy for other more important, and enjoyable, matters in life.
As falls progresses, the days become shorter.
Did you know that darkness does not push away the light? It’s true. Light actually withdraws allowing the blackness to fill the space. As the days shorten, I remember that darkness cannot fill my life unless I allow it the space.
Even in my darkest moment, if I retain my internal light, it cannot eclipse me.
Fall speaks to me of preparation as well. Crops are harvested, and people begin to prepare for the coming winter. I don’t see winter as a time of death but as a period of dormancy. Everything must sooner or later rest a while so that it can come back refreshed and renewed.
Winter reminds me how crucial it is to rest and take breaks from activities, practices, etc. We need that down time.
It also reminds me that while we will soon have shorter periods of daylight, soon the days will become longer and longer, and once again flowers will bloom and the trees and hillsides will put on their gorgeous emerald vestments.
The season of fall is when I feel the most like nesting. My two favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, occur during fall. So, this time of year reminds me of fun and special time with family and friends. Sure, I can do those things even during the season of hell hot, but it doesn’t feel the same.
Tigger’s favorite season is spring because the coldness is changing over to warmth.
I’ve always known I loved fall and that I missed it, but until my recent reality check I didn’t realize just how much fall is part of my spirit. The season speaks to me on a deep internal level. I’ve missed it like I would a close friend.
In fact, I’ve missed having four specific seasons. They each have their unique character and temperament. I even miss the transition between the seasons.
When winter begins to yield to spring’s return, there is a sense of excitement. The buds on trees and flowers speak of hope. The days are obviously becoming lengthened. Towards the end of spring, summer’s presence becomes felt more strongly. The chaos of spring becomes more grounded.
The seasons of the three H’s just don’t provide that for me. It just isn’t the same thinking, “Oh thank goodness! Now instead of sweating 24 hours a day, it will only be 18!” They lack the romanticism of four seasons.
I’ve missed the changing seasons, and I’ve especially missed fall. More than I previously realized. And next week I gleefully head for its familiar embrace.