“Are you a summer or winter person?”
It’s not that much of an unusual question, especially when a) one season is ending and another is quickly coming, or b) when you don’t know someone that well and someone else comments on the weather.
When I first moved to Sydney, away from a home where 70% of the year was spent in long sleeves, it was a question that came up often. How else do you break the ice, after all, particularly when moving into a big house with twenty other people, all of whom come from all around Australia, their experiences varying greatly in terms of humidity, sleet, jumpers or short sleeves.
My answer was always the same; “I enjoy spring, minus the hay fever, I enjoy autumn, because it reminds me of childhood, but winter is my favourite. Always winter. I can’t wait for winter.”
You get to wear comfy pants, big jackets that rustle when you move, and you can have a permanent cup of tea in your hands without judgement. It’s cold outside, and you can look out there with a sense of satisfaction because you’re warm and dry and you don’t have to go outside any time soon. But alongside this comes the testing of character; getting out of a warm bed every morning, getting out of a hot shower every evening, taking your hand out of your pocket to click the computer mouse.
Struggle is real.
And so I’ve come to the conclusion that every season is wonderful, and every season has it’s frustrations. I no longer say I have a favourite, because every season brings me joy as well as tears.
Spring may bring along hay fever, but it also brings along blooming flowers, the smell of freshly mown grass, sunshine on your shoulders that never gets too hot, but remains the perfect temperature for your one hour lunch break.
Autumn does remind me of childhood; walks along a beach even though it’s too cold to swim, a scarf wrapped around your neck but no pressure to keep a spare jumper in the car.
I’ve already discussed winter (although there is plenty more I could say).
And now, summer. Summer is perhaps the season with the most mixed reviews; it’s too hot, but at least it’s not cold. I’m sweating, but at least I’m not shivering. The list goes on. But I truly love summer. My hay fever evaporates and still the grass remains the same wonderful, springy texture, making bare feet an essential. I sweat, but because of the sun pouring into my room, I actually feel like being productive and doing something with my time. Yes, there are lethargic days where you don’t want to move from your beached-whale position on your bed, a glass of water by your side and the fan on high. But how good does a productive summers day feel? It’s like spring cleaning on steroids.
Yesterday, as I worked in the office, the air conditioning on, I still managed to work up a sweat as I cleared cupboards of old junk from twenty-sixteen. I was able to wear a dress without needing stockings and boots and coats and scarves. My shoulders were uncovered due to the dress straps, and as I hung out my washing, my shoulders thanked the the sun’s rays for warming my skin. I was like a walking hot water bottle, man. And I loved it; don’t you miss the sun in winter? Don’t you miss the feeling of lazy Sunday afternoons spent sprawled on the grass, a textbook open near you so you can at least pretend to have been studying?
There’s a simple way out of disliking a certain season; just think about what you miss about it when it’s not in play. (This could turn disastrous if you then start to crave winter in summer, and then you get annoyed because winter is ages away, but hey, just keep the craving in moderation and you’ll be right.)
Point is, we need the change. We always want something different; too hot, too cold. But God perfectly timed the seasons, knowing that we need both change and consistency. We always know what season is coming up, and with our obsession with time, we always know how long we have until the next season comes along. Change is good. Consistency is good. And we find both of these within a whole year of rotating temperatures. So let go, and enjoy what you’re in. It’s okay to miss winter. I miss it sometimes, too. But don’t get too caught up about it, or in fifty winters time, you’ll realise you took your summers for granted. It’s kind of cheesy, but I also think it’s true. I, for one, don’t want another autumn of regret. I’ve had too many of those, and this year my autumn will be good. Because I’ll focus on the good, thus remembering the good.
I love every season. And maybe this year, you will too. Next time someone comes to me and asks “so, summer or winter?” I’ll direct them to this post. That not only educates them, it means I no longer have to deal with the awkward small talk.
Have a great summers day, everyone!