13 October 2006


In the spring-time seed is sown,
In the summer grass is mown
In the autumn you may reap
Winter is the time for sleep.

Spring is hope -- Summer’s joy
Spring and summer never cloy.
Autumn, toil -- Winter, rest
Winter, after all, is best.

Spring and summer pleasure you,
Autumn, aye, and winter too.
Every season has its cheer,
Life is lovely all the year!

W.S. Gilbert, Ruddigore

We are now in Mid-October, which, besides being birthday time for a lot of friends and family, is when Maryland finally decides to acknowledge autumn. The daytime temperatures have dropped out of the 70s and 80s and into the 60s and there was a bit of frost on the car this morning.

I love all the seasons, but over time autumn is starting to take the lead. I love the explosive new growth of spring, the hot sun on my skin in the summer, and snow in the winter. Of course, loving snow is easy around here because we don’t get that much of it, so it remains a novelty. We get a couple of one- or two-inch dusters and at least one foot-and-half or greater snow dump every winter, which comes pretty close to meeting my snow needs for the year.

And the seasons have their downsides. My car is black, so getting into it in the summer means not be able to touch things until the A/C kicks in. Spring waits for you to plan outdoor activities and then dumps really cold rain on them. Winter snow is always followed by winter ice and I hate ice. I also hate being cold, which I am all winter long, even when I remember to wear a coat or gloves or anything like that.

But in autumn, the breeze is crisp, the leaves are hundreds of colors, the sky looks as though it were painted by Turner, and migrating birds poppyseed the air. It’s fun to eat hot food outside and wear sweaters and drink hot chocolate. And the peasant-y sorts of food that I love – root vegetables and stews and sausage – take a front seat in the autumn.

I’m fickle when it comes to the seasons. Just as my favorite show is whichever I happen to be working on, my favorite season is the one that’s just starting. So it’s entirely possible that I’ll write a similar paean to winter when it sets in here in January.

1 comment:

Jim A said...

For some reason, fall is the most "colleg-y" month. Maybe because initial impressions are the most lasting. When one pictures the ivy coverd walls of academia, it's usually fall, and Buffy and Chad are wearing sweaters or peacoats carrying their books to class. As opposed to spring when there are bikini-clad sunbathing freshmen on the lawn. Very nice, but somehow it never makes it into the college catalogs.