Friday, October 18

My Favorite Season? by Jana Richards

I live in Canada with all four seasons. Winters are cold and summers are hot, and the shoulder seasons of spring and fall have everything in-between.

But picking a favorite is difficult. There are things I like about all four seasons, as well as things I dislike. Let me count the ways.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
Let’s start with spring. Spring always comes as a relief after a long, cold winter. In my corner of the world, spring can begin anytime between March and May. And when it finally comes, it comes fast. One of my favorite lines from “Spring on the Prairies” by Saskatchewan singer-songwriter Connie Calder is “Spring on the prairies comes as a surprise. One minute there’s snow on the ground – the next the sun’s in your eyes.”

Spring holds a lot of promise, but it has downsides. Immediately after the snow disappears, trees are bare and grass is brown and dead. Even garbage that’s been hidden by the snow all winter is revealed. There’s that awkward moment of ugliness until the earth warms and begins to flourish once more. And spring can bring flooding, which is a real threat where I live.

When I was a kid, summer was my favorite season. It meant no school, no timetable, no schedule. I could sleep in! And that was great, for a while. I lived on a farm, fourteen miles from the small town where I went to school. Summer meant I didn’t get to see my friends so often, and absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes, over the space of a summer not seeing a friend, things changed and they found new people to hang around with.

Actually, this was taken in Mexico, but you get the idea: poolside and tanning.
These days, summer makes life easier. I don’t have to dress in three layers of clothes before I go outside. I don’t have to worry about shoveling snow or getting stuck. The days are long and warm and full of light. I could do without the blistering heat and the mosquitoes, but as we’re fond of saying around here, “Quit complaining. It’ll be winter soon enough.”

In the fall, the temperatures moderate, making life bearable again. The leaves turn, displaying their best colors. The show they put on is truly amazing. Fall marks a beginning: the start of school, the start of getting back to business after a lazy summer, the start of setting goals. But it also marks the end: the end of the warm weather. If fall is here, can winter be far behind? The thought makes me melancholy.

Can Stock Photo Inc. Seamartini
And then it arrives. Winter, reaching out with cold, icy fingers. There’s nothing more beautiful than newly fallen snow. It leaves the world looking clean and bright as it sparkles in the sun. It’s real pretty, until you have to shovel it. Or drive in it.

Some people embrace winter. They can hardly wait for snow so they can ski or snowmobile. The coming of hockey season makes them giddy with excitement. The thought of throwing a granite rock down a sheet of curling ice fills them with delight.

I wish I was one of those people.

This was us trying to dig out our car the day after Christmas, 2016. Oh, how I love the snow! Not.
I can appreciate the beauty of winter – from the safe confines of my warm house. But life is harder in the winter. It takes longer to get anywhere. And the cold. Oh, the cold. The older I get, the more it seeps into my bones.

For me, each season has its charms and its not so charming aspects. But I wouldn’t trade the experience of having all four seasons for anything.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with the seasons? Or do you have a clear favorite?

Post Script:
After I wrote this post, snow-magedden struck over the Thanksgiving weekend (which in Canada was last weekend Oct. 12-14). It's not totally unusual to get snow in October around here, but not this much.

This is often as much snow as we get all winter!
It started raining last Wednesday. It rained all night, but by Thursday morning when I went to work, the roads were packed with wet, slushy snow. It snowed heavily all day and all night. Friday it snowed even harder. The snow was wet and heavy. It was so wet our snowblower kept getting plugged up and we had to shovel by hand. I'm telling you, it was heavy! My shoulders are still sore!

Our poor car was buried under the snow in the driveway. I used a broom to push off the snow.
The worst of it was that all over the city and in a large area of my province, the heavy snow brought down trees and branches. The branches were especially heavy because all the leaves were still on them. Some of those trees brought power lines down with them. Some areas of the province are still without power because power poles and transmission lines are down. Luckily for us, we didn't lose power, but I'll never take electricity for granted again!
Broken branches in my neighborhood.
This tree nearly landed on our neighbor's car.
Fortunately, a lot of that wet, heavy snow has already melted. You can just never tell when a season will change on a dime!

3 comments:

  1. I think all of the seasons are my favorite--when they're new. Although spring and fall never get the chance to get old, summer and winter both do. I'm nowhere near as fond of the last snow as I am the 1st one, and I'm bored with summer the 1st day the heat and humidity are both in the 90s!

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    1. I totally agree with what you're saying. I've often thought I wouldn't mind winter if it wasn't so blessed long!

      An update about power outages: there are still some people in rural and more remote areas that don't have power. Manitoba Hydra put out a video to show why it's taking so long. Apparently, hundreds of power poles went down. They have to use helicopters and special vehicles to get to the broken poles and bring new ones in. It's muddy, wet, cold work and I thank the power workers to be willing to do it.

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  2. I love seeing both sides of things through you're eyes...especially being a Floridian by birth. Great posting!

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