I hate summer. Odd I know, especially coming from an Australian who lives near the beach. Let me explain…
I grew up fat. I was teased of course but the bane of my existence was not childhood taunts, it was summer. Even when others were quite comfortable, I was sweating up a storm. The overweight (or ex-overweight) will understand. Imagine standing in your apartment hallway in the thick, dead still air during a hot summer, dressed in a suit for work and waiting for the never-arriving elevator, sweat slowly soaking through a crisp shirt, the jacket lining clinging to wet skin.
Ugh, I hate summer.
Autumn Over-Promises, Winter Under-Delivers
Autumn brings some promise of cooler weather, but there are still unpredictable scorches here and there. Winter is fantastic, except for a few random hot days and spring is just a cruel prelude to the impending summer torture.
That leaves me with less than 25% of the year that I actually like, seasonally speaking. More than 75% of the year I’m either complaining about, or dreading, the hot weather. That’s crazy, and no way to live life, especially in Sydney, so a number of years ago I made a decision – I will find a reason to like summer.
Loving Summer, Everyday
My first summer was difficult, but I was determined. I enjoyed the beach. I embraced the hot, sticky air for its uniqueness and because it created the contrast between my cold air-conditioned office.
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” – Anne Bradstreet (British Poet)
A number of years on and I’m now some 40 kilograms (about 90 pounds) lighter and I’ve loved the last 4 summers. For 3 of those 4 summers I was still at maximum weight, so it’s not the weight loss. My resolution worked.
Loving Every Season
I also love rainy days. And sunny days. And windy days – they’re lots of fun. Oh and don’t forget thunderstorms – what a thrill! I love humid days because of the spectacle of my sunglasses fogging up as I walk into the thick air outside. I like dry days too, they’re great for hanging clothes to dry and for washing my car.
There is a reason to love every season, every weather pattern, and every landscape. But what about the horrid seasons in life? You know the ones – full of nothing but angst, tragedy and hardship?
The Seasons of Life
Writers employ a well worn analogy that divides life into 4 seasons:
- SPRING 0-18yrs: the beginning, the growth and sprouting season, the tender stage.
- SUMMER 18-45yrs: the prime of life, physically and in every other way. Productive and full.
- AUTUMN 45-65yrs: the slower, more peaceful season where colours change.
- WINTER 65-85+yrs: the final season where most things are becoming white like snow, everything slows down and eventually stops.
You can divide life’s seasons even further: the high school season, the marriage season, the children season, the retirement season and so on. Unlike the climate, life’s seasons generally do not repeat themselves. You experience them once. What a tragedy to look back upon a life of hating the season you are in, wishing for the past season, and dreading the next season.
Every Season Passes
There are tens of summers that I detested and scrubbed out, missing their beauty entirely. I will never see those summers again. Those horrid seasons – the ones full of death, tragedy, betrayal, crisis – I’ll never see those again either.
It’s impossible to be ‘stuck’ in a season because seasons pass. No season lasts forever.
So admire the leaves in autumn, marvel at the fire in winter, splash in the water during summer, find a reason to love the season. As for the harsh seasons…remember that they too will pass, as all seasons do.
All seasons pass, the seasons we love…and the seasons we hate.