Just Not Ready
June 24, 2014
I love the four seasons, and I am a person who changes with the seasons. There are wines I drink only when it is hot and I can sit on my screened-in porch, ceiling fan running, and look at my garden. Those wines are white, cool and citrusy; some of them are even meant to go over ice. I would never drink these wines when I have on my Mukluk slippers, my terry cloth bathrobe, and am snuggled under my sister’s handmade quilt in front of the fireplace. For these occasions I need a deeply fruity and intense Zinfandel, or maybe a Chianti. I would drink a deep red wine like this with Italian sausage soup or black bean chili, neither of which I make once the thermometer reads over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When the days get longer again and the cicadas are buzzing, my heavy soups give way to things like mango-spacho or chilled tomato and cantaloupe soup. I usually don’t want to eat anything hot past May.
My clothing changes with the seasons. When late autumn arrives I crave my soft sweaters. I am eager to take them out of their storage container and remember how they warm my body. I love my sweatshirts with the hoods that I wear on winter mornings when I go for a walk. By the time I am taking these items out of storage, I am more than ready to pack up my shorts and tank tops, my no-cling dresses and open toe shoes.
Other things change, little things. Like my make-up, and maybe my bathing routine. I enjoy a hot bath in the winter, never in the summer. Bedtime comes later in the summer than it does in winter. The places I want to visit change from season to season. In the winter I am happy anywhere. But during the southern summer, I crave a cool place, the mountains, higher altitudes, further north and away from the humidity.
I’ve been puzzled this week, because for a girl who loves the seasons, I just don’t feel ready for this seasonal change. I am not ready for spring to come. I don’t want to have to start watering the flower pots. I am dreading the annual cleaning of the screened-in porch which will come when the yellow pollen stops swirling. I felt irritated today when I worked up a sweat on my evening walk. It’s too soon. Too early. I am just not ready. Reminding myself that I am not in charge of the weather did not help my mood.
Sometimes we don’t get to be ready. Sometimes our situations change without our permission. Sometimes our partners change. Sometimes we change, even without our conscious willingness. While eating dinner I remember this quote by William Somerset Maugham.
“We are not the same person this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.”
I think I still love the seasons. Just not this one this year. I hope those who love me will still love me, even if I am not thrilled that my jasmine is in full bloom and my Japanese maple has leaves on it already. Please forgive the premature expletives I am uttering while swatting off mosquitos, taking the garbage to the street. If it was you I scowled at, you with no shirt on crossing the street in your flip-flops, don’t pay me any attention. Changing the winter blanket to the summer one did not bring a smile to my lips last night either. Uncharacteristically, I am just not ready.
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