I like the first snowfall. I like the quietness. I like the sparkling clear days with bright blue sky and the gleaming whiteness of the snow-covered mountains against it. I even like the gray, dreary days; even the shades of gray have their own peculiar beauty, and their own stark message.
I don’t mind the cold, at first. When the temperature drops to 0 and below, though, I am not happy. For about three weeks here, the temperature never got above 25. I grew weary of that extended coldness.
There are things I don’t like about winter, too, and they come mostly in the second half. I suppose that’s because I’m tired of the cold, tired of the ice and snow. I get even more tired of the melting ice and snow. Slush. Slush begets mud. And when you have dogs, mud begets dirty footprints on the kitchen floor.
So when spring pokes its head around the corner, I get excited. I love spring! It is new life, of course; it is Easter. It’s returning to the land of milk and honey after wandering through the desert of winter.
Spring isn’t even close yet, of course. But the days are getting longer, and the snow drifts are getting smaller, and the end of the wintry desert is in sight.
Spring is lovely, but it eventually turns into summer. I don’t like summer. It, like winter, is a desert – but in a different way. There is not much I like about summer! I do not like hot weather; thanks be to God we don’t get too much of that here! I don’t like the dryness, either.
And when fall pokes its head around the corner, I get excited. I love the fall! It’s not new life, of course; it is the death of things. But it’s beautiful, too, especially in the beginning when the fall colors shout one last hurrah for life, before life goes to sleep for a while. I like the cool, crisp mornings and the comfortably warm afternoons. I like the way the angle of the sun seems to create a whole different world of filtered and nuanced light; it’s so different from that which existed only a month or so earlier, when everything seemed to be in stark, direct sunlight.
So for me, there is the desert of winter and the desert of summer. Spring and fall are the oases, the wellsprings, the refreshing moments.
Liturgical time is sort of like that for me, too. I like Lent. Lent is supposed to be a desert, just like summer and winter, I suppose; I like Lent very much – just as I like winter. I like its austerity and the promise it holds of the new life coming at Easter. And I love Easter!
All the weeks following Pentecost are another desert for me. I don’t suppose they are meant to be, but they fell that way to me. Perhaps it is the association with summer! But when fall comes again, I start to anticipate Advent – another liturgical season that is supposed to be a mini-desert, but which I love. It’s a short one, of course, and Christmas comes as the oasis in that desert.
Seasons come and seasons go – both meteorologically and liturgically. I like the ebb and flow.