Sunday, October 01, 2017

The Seasons by Eleanor Shepherd

           Last week we went to our daughter’s home in the Laurentians to celebrate her husband’s birthday. Although it was late September, the weather was like July, with a temperature of 33° C (91.4 °F) and with the humidity it felt like 39°C  (102.2° F). We decided to take the family and go to a lovely mountain lake in a nearby town for a swim.
           Last evening the forcast was for possible frost in the Laurentians meaning that the overnight temperature would dip to 0° C (32° F). What a contrast in the space of a week. That is the kind of extremes we sometimes experience here in Canada with the changing of the seasons. However I was talking to my friend, Marie a few weeks ago. Although she is Canadian, for several years she lived in a country near the equator where there was little change in the temperature all year round and one of the things that she dearly missed was the changing seasons. 

            In talking with her, I discovered that the seasons do change in countries like that, but the difference is far less obvious. There are usually wet seasons and dry seasons, times when there is more rain and other times when there is little percipitation. 

            I must admit that although summer is my favourite season, in that I love the hot weather when I can go outside without having to bundle up and can eat out in the fresh air with picnics and barbecues. I love lying in a hammock or on a sandy beach and enjoying a good book, and even ocassionally nodding off and feeling the warm sun on my skin. Pleasant walks along the lake during the long evenings or enjoying concerts or Shakespeare in the Park make it a marvellous season for me.

            However there is always something magical about the trees beginning to change colours. The golden and red leaves that float down and make a carpet on the lawn after they have offered a riot of colour all over the neighbourhood make the autumn a very special time as well. The bounty of fruit and vegetables that are available as the farmers rush to harvest them before the first frosts make for delicious fall feasts with Thanksgiving being the apex of the season.

Living in a country that is buried under ice and snow for three or four months, I have also learned to appreciate the charm of winter. As children we were so excited when we saw the first snowflakes coming out of the slate winter sky. Into our heads popped visions of snowmen and snow angels, tobogganing and skating, ice hockey and ringette. Even now, I think most of us as adults cannot help but feel a thrill of excitement when the snow begins to fall. For us to try to imagine Christmas without snow just does not seem to fit. It would be like summer without picnics. Then come the days of digging ourselves out after huge snow dumps and negotiating footing on icy streets and sidewalks.

            It is not surprizing that we breathe a collective sigh of relief as in March or early April we see bare patches appearing on our lawns and the rain begins to wash away all the slushy and dirt stained snow. We are ready to welcome the tiny crocuses and brave shoots that push their way through the thawing earth. It is a time of promise and as days get longer and the smell of the spring flowers is carried on the breeze we remember the promise.    
            As Noah and his family emerged from the ark and worshipped God for His remembrance of them, they received His promise. “…Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
            As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (Genesis 8: 21 – 22) The seasons are proof that we are heirs of that promise.  

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Peter Black said...

Thank you, Eleanor, for your word and picture tour of the seasons. So true. Each does have its blessings and . . . I confess at times I view aspects of the seasons as banes. Blessings and banes, eh?
However, the enormous hardships experienced by those caught in the path of extreme weather incidents lately surely smarten me up and help me to adjust my attitude towards greater gratitude! ~~+~~

Glynis said...

So lovely. And such rich and appropriate photos and colours. Yes, we will find something to grumble about every season if we wanted but as you indicate, it is better to focus on all the good things each season has to offer!

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