Growing up in the north, I learned to love each season as it made it's way through the year. With something to do outside year round, the north seemed the place to be while the south was simply a place for "fun in the sun", a place to get away from the bitter winter cold, the place to go for Spring Break. I even knew families that spent the entire winter in the sun, returning all tanned and refreshed.
Meanwhile those of us stuck in Michigan got gray skies, bitter cold, snow, rain and ice. Nevertheless, we heard the stories of fun in the sun. Swimming, tanning, amusement parks and concerts. Every now and then, a thought or two would pass through my mind. "I wish I could go to Texas." "When I get older I'm moving south." Now, I miss the north and the passing of the seasons I love. And the best way to tell you why I love the seasons is to show them to you.
Life-affirming springs bring first the Crocus peeking from beneath the snow. Days warm, snows melt and green life appears. Spring rains wash the land, giving life to many varieties of flowers. Kites fill the sky on breezy days; people tilt their faces up to the sky, warming them after the long winter.
Summer caresses the land with warm temperatures and sudden showers. Folks young and old, laughing and playing in the surf and sand. Yes, I said surf and sand. They do not call Michigan the Great Lake State for nothing. There are many, many inland lakes, not to mention the five Great ones.
Picnics fill the parks with families and friends, bird song fills the air as softball games fill the night. Young people hike through the quiet woods and fields. Farmers tend their crops and livestock. Small children giggle in the night chasing fireflies or playing hide and seek.
Ever so slowly, summer fades into autumn. Squirrels scamper about gathering their winter rations. Green turns to red, orange, yellow and gold. Indian Summer has arrived in all her breath-taking glory. Children collect and press their prettiest finds. Festivals help people celebrate the colors of life.
When natures show is over, the leaves begin to fall. The grass stops growing, flowers stop blooming and the temperatures start to cool. Still there is fun to be had. Hayrides, football games, bonfires, camping trips and rolling in the leaves. Flowerbeds are prepared for a long winter's sleep.
The snows come now, blanketing the Earth in a soft white. Temperatures drop, freezing everything in sight. Icicles glisten in the sun, hanging gracefully in the air. The sound of snowmobiles and snow blowers can be heard throughout the countryside. Children sliding down hills or skating on the lakes. Snowballs fly through the air hitting any target they may find.
Little did I know that these would become loved memories of a time gone by. No more snow to quiet the land. No Indian Summer colors to calm the soul. Moreover, those stories from my childhood and teens ... let us just say they left a few things out. Like the fact that in Texas it rains most of the winter and spring, and gets hotter than the Devil's backyard in the summer. Four seasons, what a gift you Yankee's have been given.