Saturday, October 1, 2011

I've broken up with summer

Jeans, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, mittens, hats, scarves, boots and fleece vests.  I love all of the accessories that go along with the weather becoming cooler in the fall.   I love all of the foods that go along with cold weather too.   Soups, stews, roasted chickens, apple pies, mulled cider and fresh baked bread.   I’m not a big fan of summer or heat and yet many of the things I love about autumn are associated with creating warmth.  I think that is the difference right there; as the weather cools we create our warmth from the inside whereas the heat of summer is pushed upon us.

Summer reminds me of an over anxious and easily offended lover who is unable to get the message that you need time to yourself, that though you might care for them deeply there really can at times be too much of a ‘good thing’.   Sometimes I want to take summer by the shoulders, look it in the eye and say, “Summer honey, I love lounging about all day at the beach with you as much as the next girl, but I can’t go to the beach every day of the week.  I have a life to live and obligations to meet.  I have other people I want to share my time with.  It would be very nice to not have sweat trickling down my back when I’m making the bed, enjoying a novel in the park or chatting over beer with a friend.  Please, can’t we just take a break?  I’ll go to the beach with you next week, I promise.” 

Instead of responding with understanding and patience, summer just gets all uneasy, possessive and afraid you’ll forget who it is, so it sends ten 90 degree days with 94% humidity your way.    Summer wants to make sure you don’t forget it exists.  As you lay there, unable to sleep and barely able to breathe in the heavy air of a summer night, you realize you just have to end this dysfunctional relationship and you go out and buy an air conditioner. 

Autumn on the other hand is a season that is comfortable with itself and thus autumn is able to love you for who you are.  Autumn is willing to give you the space to determine just what it is you need to be comfortable.   My relationship with autumn is more like those good friendships where each person is perfectly capable of generating their own inner warmth and so the love between you is something given and accepted freely, without expectation or possessiveness.   Autumn isn’t offended by your hats and scarves, it is glad that you are able to take responsibility for your own comfort and your ability to do so is what enables you to enjoy the season.

I could write similar types of comparisons for winter and spring as well, but today it is autumn that is on my mind.  It is by far my favorite time of year and just like those old friends whose company we enjoy no matter how long it has been since we saw them last, I welcome the season with open arms each time it comes around.

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