According to any standard calendar, we have four seasons. This is such a basic fact, that I won’t offend your intelligence by bothering to list them. Suffice it to say that there are 4 and each lasts approximately 3 months. While the calendar neatly divides the year into these quarters based on 2 factors which are unarguable in our modern world: the tilt of our planet’s axis and its orbit around the sun, I’ve recently been noting a four other seasons not clearly identified on any calendar I’ve ever seen. Let me share…
As I was slathering a piece of Irish soda bread with butter, I started thinking about eating seasonally. Of course, being the bread
whore aficionado that I am, I wasn’t thinking about produce, I was thinking about that wonderful vessel which enables one to consume butter – bread! I don’t know about you, but for me, bread is most definitely an essential. A staff of life, shall we say. At Christmas my body craves the dense, moist fruitiness of panettone. Soda bread season begins just as I have gotten past my post-holiday consumption guilt and gets me through until the sweet breads of Easter become available. And then bruschetta season begins…
In my house there are linens seasons. As a young child, I remember my mother, with much ironing and fanfare, changing the drapes twice a year. I don’t really do curtains myself, preferring the clean lines of blinds, but I admit to rotating my sheets on the same sort of schedule. Autumn and winter are all about soft, warm flannel while the warmer months call for crisp cotton bedding. Getting the transition timing right is an inexact science, but I do my best to make certain the season of my sheets synches with the temperature for maximum comfort.
Then there are the insects which seem to cycle through their own seasons in my house. Right now I’m encountering ladybugs, which I am charmed by, especially since they are an improvement over the lice which occupied my child’s head recently. Later in spring, I imagine the tiny little ants will try to infiltrate my home as they are inclined to do. I’m not overly bothered by them. As long as I can keep the moths and fleas out of my living space (and closet!), I’ll tolerate those little buggers if I have to. I do wish, however, that I knew where they came from and why they find my living space so damn inviting – I swear, I’m a fairly tidy and clean person! Bottom line, though, they don’t skeeve me the way other bugs like cockroaches or earwigs do and I can accept them as part of life.
My calendar would be incomplete without the inclusion of a season more emotionally based. Although I often think of life as having distinct chapters, I believe that describing the various facets of a full life as “seasons” would be equally accurate. Sometimes the seasons are clearly defined – single life, newlywed, child-bearing, mothering, etc. Other seasons are a bit more difficult to describe, like the place where I’m at right now. The sweet consolation, though, is a realization that each season comes with aspects to appreciate. That fact, along with the knowledge that one season will flow into the next, make each a time to be treasured rather than merely another page waiting to be turned.