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.
loved the way you pictured each season. Hate winter.
Thanks, and I hear you about winter. There are some aspects I enjoy but mostly I could do without winter. LOL
gotta love the changing seasons…
Oh yes! We are back in Quebec after 2 years of warmth and it is such a treat to welcome fall! I love all you describe about it… the color of the light, the crispness in the air and especially, sleeping with a big down comforter! However, with fall comes the decrease of light, especially here in the North. I pulled my phototherapy lamp out and am crossing my finger that it will allow me to not suffer the effect of SAD.
I’m thankful to not suffer from SAD. I think I would probably start mourning in fall if that was the case. Hopefully the lamp will help!
It’s interesting because seeing friends comments on FB right now, there is a small, small part of me, that would like a fall – to wear jeans, boots, and sweaters, and feel the crisp cool air with the warm sun while walking through our old neighborhood in Chicago. But, I think after a few days, I would be ready for warmth again. I’m a sun bunny at heart. I will be in Ireland and England in October and November, so I will get some cool weather, a break from the heat and humidity, although I am assuming I will be chilled to the bone the entire time in cold, wet weather. I am hoping it will make me appreciate the weather in Bali, which certainly isn’t as hot as KL or Hanoi. I actually can wear jeans here at night, and feel the cool breeze on the back of the motorbike. And, there is good coffee. I know you didn’t have a great experience here, but it has enough creature comforts of my former existence to make me not book a ticket for fall in Chicago!
Everyone is different. I’m glad you’re enjoying your time there! It was pretty hot when we were there. At least in Ubud the nights cooled down quite a bit, and the open air style of things was helpful. During the day, we were very thankful for a pool!
Growing up in Hawaii we just had one H season: HEAVENLY. I always negatively of Fall, to my tropical mind is was a time of death and sadness. I cried the first time I saw snow. And remember clearly during my first Fall when I breathed in the cool crisp air and the smell of falling leaves and was hit by the realization that Fall was not about death at all, but about a time of rest, pause, reflection, when the flora and fauna tucked themselves into bed and prepared for a new day in Spring.
Glad you learned to appreciate the different seasons!
I agree with you on wanting to experience the seasons. We’ve discussed going to Asia, but my husband hates the heat… Still, maybe it isn’t so bad in winter??? Where are you heading?
There are a few places in SE Asia where the heat isn’t absolutely horrid, but it’s minimal. Winter may be cooler than during the rainy season, but it’s still pretty warm.
In other areas of Asia, you can get a proper winter so won’t have to deal with the heat.
We’re going to Romania.
Here! Here! I love the fall season and it just can’t get here soon enough for me. Spring is pretty but really hard on me because I suffer from environmental allergies and I don’t enjoy the summer heat. Hubby enjoys the heat, but I duck for shade every time. Because of our current lifestyle we are learning to travel in the winter and I’m actually liking it. Of course there are places in the world that I would like to see when gardens are in bloom, but winter is not a bad time at all to travel. As you know we spent 3 weeks in Paris in the dead of winter and I don’t think we could have had a better time, nor do I think we would ever return in spring or summer.. fall? Definitely!
I love Paris in the spring, but I don’t have all the allergy issues either. We’re planning on going back this spring so Tigger can experience it in warmer weather when everything is in bloom.