I’m familiar with distinct seasons . . . as seen in books and movies. But I’ve only lived in places where seasons are tied to levels of dryness and vacation-worthy temperatures.
Here in the land of mild, we had one good, cold week, and it jolted the few deciduous trees into action. Yellow leaves floated down from the sixty-foot tall tree behind my office. The brittle, golden curls skittered across the walkway in the breeze. The morning sunlight set them aglow, and an earthy aroma filled the air as they settled in drifts on the grass between buildings. Yet within a week the tree was awash in new growth. Budding leaves cast a fuzzy, green haze over branches still retaining their last dying leaves. Fall and spring converged in January.
Perhaps this is why my grasp of seasons remains weak. The dying and new birth mingle with no stretch of barrenness between them; the need to wait is obliterated. The lemon trees in the front yard produce fruit year-round. The roses are still blooming when the gardening manuals say to cut them back. October can be hotter than July. June is drearier than January. I look out the window, and the sunny view of the park’s greenery could be May or September, but my calendar says it is February.
Time rises, dances and drops like a kite in the wind. I cannot find the rhythm. There is no steady bass line keeping me in step as the melody cycles from mellow to minimal to sprightly to bold.
And while my body loves the ever-pleasant temperatures, my soul longs for a different pattern. It longs for slower, sparser days to reflect. It longs for new sprouts in unexpected places and the stark contrast of brilliant blessing in a previously gray and brown world. It longs for the chance to linger in the lengthening days and see measurable change. It longs for a concentrated harvest of the lessons sown in bleaker days that have gradually come to fruition. It longs to shed the old and make room for the new.
I long for the hope built into the nature of seasons.