Saturday, July 09, 2005

Seasonal affections

For the record, I just want people to know that my answer to the question "what's your favorite season?" will never be consistent with the answer you get at another time of year. I know I'm not the only one with this non-problem. So perhaps my ideal answer should be "the beginning of every season."

Yes, I take the greatest pleasure in my surroundings when they have just changed. Each is so distinct you can practically taste it.

First, I can imagine the end of Indian summer, when the fog finally rolls in and the nights become sharper and slightly longer. There are no nights like autumn nights around our place, when the lower fields behind the house are covered in a silver blanket that the moon sets aglow. Here and there a tree rises up out of the mist, adding a certain sense of quiet and solitude.

Later, as the cold intensifies and the days lengthen, the apples on the ground gain a layer of frost, further preserving them as they decompose into the ever-harder ground. Finally, the sun hangs continuously low in the sky as each moment of its brilliance becomes a rare treat. I can always imagine hunting for a Christmas tree or playing a game of [frostbite] football in the yard…such memories. Finally the cold snap is past. The rain becomes the rule of the day--the continuous damp and dimness of each day becomes a burden for some, a comfort for others.

Finally the breeze mellows some. The former bite slackens and the bare branches of deciduous trees take on the slightest tint of green as countless buds tempt the eye with a sense of newness and life. Then the blossoms on other trees burst out in exuberant colors that never fail to please. As they fall and create a pink carpet on the grass, more greens appear to compliment the deep evergreens, as the palette becomes rich with varying hues. The sun shines warmly little bits at a time, but just a little more often each week. The country folk around the county smile a little more, and everyone breaks out their sunglasses--sometimes a little prematurely, as the spots of sun are still rare.

But then comes a slower change. It's harder to follow the switch from spring to summer. I suppose by the end of June one can usually declare with the greatest sense of certainty that summer is in full swing. For my part, I like to look for subtle things: the hay fields shaven of their spring coat with the proceeds gathered into great round bails which cast dynamic shadows as the sun's path rises higher than ever into the sky before dropping down into the northwest corner to set with grandeur par excellence. Today, I drove the Hannagan home from Bellingham and was treated to that very scene. It was close to 9:30 as I drove the through the warm evening and realized it had been a year since I had been out on a similar evening.

Summer is truly here, and the first element to gently brush the senses--smell of cut grass, the first peaceful warm evening, the first taste of summer fruit--is always the sweetest.
<< Home 13 Comments:
Blogger Crystal said...

I too share your in abilty to pick a favorite season though I must admit that I am somewhat partial to winter, if we get snow, and spring. Wonderful decriptions of each...with a little more refining it would make a great speech! ha, ha!

12:08 PM, July 10, 2005  
Blogger Jason Frank. said...

October through December would have to be my favorite time of year. Why, I'm not quite sure, but it's always had an inescapable allure for me.

10:08 PM, July 10, 2005  
Blogger Joshua said...

Wow, Mark...that was pretty much poetry. Perfect descriptions - though the rains were once again slighted, but I'm used to it by now. It is so comfortable when rain becomes 'the rule of the day'. Even more then that I find it invigorating, refreshing, cleansing and the smell of wet tar is so perfect. No, really.

2:43 PM, July 11, 2005  
Blogger Joshua said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:44 PM, July 11, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

Oh Mark you are starting to sound like Rebekah. I don't have a favorite season. I need to go.

7:53 PM, July 11, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

sorry about that. My Mom had to use the computer. Now to finish my thought. I don't have a favorate season. But there are things in each one that I like and dislike.

6:26 PM, July 12, 2005  
Blogger R.Marrakesh said...

Awesome description of the seasons Mark, Crystal is so right. lol
I would have to go with late spring-early summer and autum; its so beautiful!

8:24 PM, July 12, 2005  
Blogger Kat said...

ok, so what's your favorite smell of each season?

10:03 PM, July 12, 2005  
Blogger tasha said...

rain! I love the smell of rain all year round. And I love flowers, raspberries, uh... chocolate. :) I don't know that I have a favorite season. There are things about each of them that I love.

I like your descriptions, Mark.

11:57 AM, July 13, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

Yes rain has to be at the top of the list of things I like about certain seasons.

4:30 PM, July 14, 2005  
Anonymous Nanny said...

I have been through many seasons, but always love spring the most. It is wondeful to see new life. baby birds little floewr buds and wildflowers galore.

The beauty of it all give an old lady hope.

I enjoy your writing...Keep on, I will be back to visit.

9:59 PM, July 15, 2005  
Blogger Rebekah said...

Oh Mark! Your enchantic words make me long for the country once again. Living here in the city has made me realize how blessed we are. But as much as I am in love with the North West, I am afraid that it now has a rival: upstate New York. Never have I been so inthralled with the beauty of a place, as I am with the farm country in this state. Sorry for going off subject. Loves brother!

12:40 PM, July 16, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

Rebekah!! How can you love New York better than your own home? I don't think I could love anyother place better than here. Mot that I go to a lot of different places....

2:57 PM, July 17, 2005  

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