A New Season
June 24, 2014
I love the four seasons because 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 with the ceiling fan running, looking out 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 Muk-luk slippers and my terry cloth bathrobe, and I am snuggled under my sister’s handmade quilt in front of the fireplace. For these occasions I need a jammy and intense red, like a Zinfandel or Rioja. I would drink a deep red wine like this with Italian sausage soup, or perhaps some black bean chili, neither of which I make once the thermometer reads over 70 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 don’t want anything hot past about May.
My clothing changes, of course. In the autumn I crave my soft sweaters and enjoy taking them out of their storage container and remembering how they warm my body. I love my sweatshirts with the hoods that I wear on cold autumn mornings when I go for a walk. By the time I am taking these things out of storage, I am more than ready to pack up my shorts, tank tops, no-cling dresses and open toe shoes.
Other things change, little things. Like my make-up, and maybe my bathing routine. I like a hot bath in the winter, never in the summer. The places I want to visit change from winter to summer. I crave a cool place in the middle of the summer. The mountains, higher altitudes, just about anywhere further north and away from the humidity of South Carolina. In the winter, I feel more open to the coast, sea, and salt.
Seasons of life require change, too. I love this quote by 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.” ~ William Somerset Maugham.
Recently my husband I were talking about the ways we’ve changed and the ways our marriage has changed. We wondered aloud how many marriages we’ve had…to each other. There was the early marriage, which lasted until we started trying to get pregnant. Then the fertility/infertility marriage, which was it’s own entity and one I was very grateful to put behind us. Awful. Then the marriage with child. That marriage was filled with the joy of a child but included much grief in both of our families as well as major professional transitions for both of us. The next marriage was the marriage that involved adjusting to the empty nest. And now, it seems, we are into a totally new marriage, of mid-life, more freedom, new meaning, and new longings. I assume there will be a few more of these marriages until our earthly union ends. Five and counting.
I am grateful to be married to someone who has encouraged my changes and who continues to grow and change with me. It is rarely boring in my marriage.
I am different this December than I was last. Some of the differences are obvious to me and to those closest to me. Other differences may be more subtle, still emerging. Some changes may have to wait for the right time to emerge. Whatever the case, I do know that change is inevitable and a sign that life is not stagnant. Even though we often like the feeling of a steadiness to life, of an assurance that we can control the way things are, the deepest truth is that so much of what happens in our lives is out of our control.
Nature changes constantly. It doesn’t seem to fight like we do, holding on to the way things were. I don’t imagine that trees say to themselves things like, “ No, I don’t want to turn orange and red and then lose all of you leaves. Hold on for dear life and don’t let that nasty autumn cold have any effect on you at all! Don’t compromise. Don’t give in!”
Things change. It is the order of the universe. How are you changing? How do you need to change? Whose changes do you need to respond to? These are good questions to take with you as the Winter Solstice approaches, the shortest, darkest day of the year. Welcome a new season with curiosity and courage!
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