Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Seasons, Ranked

Autumn in New England is such a spectacular season, and every year I despair at capturing it on camera. I just can't show how the entire world is transformed into a blaze of color and luminescent light and vibrancy. There are so many professional photos that do it better.

My garden is endlessly exciting as each plant changes and everywhere I look there is something bright and beautiful. A trip to the center of town to do errands is a wondrous ride through exploding colors. I want to get it all on camera, but I can't.

I can't adequately describe the crisp air or the scents. All this excitation leaves me agitated at not being able to save it and show it, even as I am calmed by the beauty of it all.

I love fall here. It got me thinking about the other seasons and how I might rank them. So here goes.

Best season in New England is always and always will be autumn. Specifically October for the color and blazing excitement, but also November for its fading glory and quieter moodiness. Fall has no equal here.

Next best season in New England is winter. I like snow and cold days. Most people in this climate don't, and every retiree I know abhors it with an intensity that drives them to live in ugly condos in Florida all winter, but I love winter here. I ski, I like to be outdoors on cold days, and I love the inside world of the house in winter.

Summer is okay in New England. It's pretty, the garden blooms, my porch beckons. But it can get hot and humid and a little draining. While I like being closed up in the house in winter, I hate being closed up in the air conditioning in summer. Still, summer is leafy and green and my gardens are nice and you don't have to wear socks.

I hate spring in New England. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Sure, there are daffodils and the dogwoods bloom and the forsythias shout in yellow. I've planted spring bulbs. But boot sucking mud is the predominant feature of the garden in spring. It's depressingly bleak looking until early June, it's cold and windy and damp, and there is no conceivable reason why it should take so long for my gardens to wake up each year.

For 66 years I've lived in this state and the rhythms of its seasons are in my bones.

Jim and I talk all the time about moving to somewhere more tax affordable for retirees, or closer to our kids, or where we can age in place with health services. But we stay here.

If we ever did move somewhere new, we would still have to come back to this place in autumn. I could not live without experiencing a New England fall each year.

And winter, we'd need to come back for that. And summer too, of course.

I could live somewhere else in spring.

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