cold and gloomy days bring forth effort from us, in that we must search for comfort. and when that comfort is found, we withdraw into ourselves, which should be a truly treasured time. introspection is a necessity for the self, for there is no other way the self can grow.
it is easy to love the biting cold when your hands surround a ceramic mug made by your sister, and the steam winds its way to your nostrils. when your grandmother's afghan is swirled below your neck. when you hear the satisfying grating sound of a match being lit, and you watch the wick so faithfully carry that same light. when the wood cracks and collapses, and when cedar and pine fill your home.
in my own life, i have easily learned to love what seasons bring. and each one is good. i grew up with experiences i was later to find foreign for many of my peers. i shucked corn in july and shelled pecans in december. i made hot chocolate mix with my mom every winter. i enjoyed a living room of homemade potpourri on the wood stove. i also filled the rooms with daffodils and lily of the valley every march and day lilies every june. i enjoyed pears in august. i took long walks every day of the year in rain, heat, chill, and snow and sat down to a homemade meal every night.
as i have gotten older, i have realized through the unfamiliarity of such practices by others, how for granted i have taken each of those moments. and i realize this even more in recent months with my addictions to pinterest and instagram where we can all pretend to be martha stewarts and professional photographers if we want to. i realize this in the now-trendy ways of recycling your glass jars and composting your vegetable scraps. in wearing grandmother clothes from second hand vendors. and i take pride in that i grew up in an environment way ahead of all this and later realizing that this was done because of low finances, not because it was cool. and then i become angry at the phonies.
but let me tell another reason why i appreciate the beginning of every season, because in the change that seems to take too long to happen, i am forced to scrutinize it in my impatience. and in such scrutiny, i see all the details. and in all the details, i learn to savor each and every small thing because it is all i have as i wait. and for those who want to live in such hippie ways, this is how you will find those who truly understand it. i will never be able to go too long without a computer or my phone, but i know well how to understand the priceless and matchless experiences of a simple something involving neither of those things.
i also can recognize when it is time to leave the computer and the phone off and make that effort to find the comforts i saw in the virtual others. it is time to knit and water the christmas tree. it is time for the sun to start setting earlier and sending us inside. in our newly confined quarters, we will learn to savor the simple beauties the season made us acknowledge. the way his eyes roll upwards when he is uncomfortable or bored. the way she stares through the window wishing to be a part of what the humans are doing. the way she folds the edge of her pages. the way sticks his chin out when watching something. the smell of steam wafting through the house after someone's shower. the sound of the trees tapping the roof.