The sudden arrival of fall weather over much of the country that less than a week ago was experiencing unusually warm weather got me to thinking about the changing seasons. Growing up my favorite season was summer. The reasons seemed obvious at the time. No school! No homework. Staying up late. The luxury of sleeping in. FREEDOM! From the last day of school until the first Tuesday after Labor Day my time was mine to do with as I liked. In June the days seemed to stretch endlessly in front of me, but by August they were roaring past at the speed of a freight train with a schedule to keep. Summer was never long enough.
It wasn’t just being out of doors because I was outdoors year round back then. I played in the snow in the winter and reveled in shuffling through gutters filled with piles of crunchy, colorful leaves in the fall. I was especially fond of the scent of lilacs in the spring and the tantalizing hints of summer in the air. In the fall I marched with the band at high school football games. In the winter I skied. Come spring I raced my dad’s sailboat at the small lake in a neighboring town, and I rode my bike in the dark hours of predawn delivering newpapers in all four seasons.
But then I joined the Peace Corps in my mid-fifties and they sent me to the South Pacific. A vast change for a Yankee from New England, but by the time I returned home, I’d become accustomed to year round summer. The woman I lived with in the South Pacific and I used to sit on her veranda in the warm dark tropical nights, weaving mats, doing homework or just chatting. It was one of my favorite times of day. Being able to go swimming in the ocean any time I pleased was another perk of the job. I loved it. And when I returned home to Maine, I discovered just how depressing the unrelenting cold and dark could get. Summer seemed shorter than ever.
I live in northeast Florida now, and most of my year feels like the lovely, long days of my childhood summers. The feel of the sunlight on my shoulders as I walk the beach, wading through the tumbling surf and the rush of warm summer night wind through my hair in the dark have become a way of life. The days get shorter here, but never as short as they were in Maine in mid-winter and I’ve never been happier living anywhere however beautiful some of the places I’ve lived have been. Some day I’ll probably make a trip to New England in the fall just to revel in the brilliance of the foliage. Last year I spent Christmas with my daughter in the White Mountains and we had a lovely Currier and Ives scene of gently falling snow on Christmas Day. I’ve yet to visit Washington DC during Cherry Blossom time and I know I’ll have to spend time where the lilacs grow in the spring now and then. But summer is still my favorite season of the year.
What’s your favorite season? Click on the comment button below and tell us what you love most about it.