Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Don't Rush Me Through the Seasons!
I never did see any fireworks last night. Instead, as expected, I had two rather frightened dogs curled up next to me- woofing and jumping each time one of the bangs and whistles of the fireworks got too loud.
Now, the skies are silent and Independence Day has passed again for another year. Summer is solidly underway.
As I said in my blog from the other day, I’m learning to appreciate summer a little more with age. Without the heat and humidity, the bright neon shades of plastic tablewear and the sound of children biking through the neighbourhood, I wouldn’t appreciate the other seasons. That’s always the way.
However, there’s a time and a place for appreciating the other seasons and sometimes, it’s just too soon to start doing so. For example, I went in a store the other day and they were selling all their spring/summer merchandise at a discount and were already displaying Halloween and Autumn décor.
Don’t get me wrong. When it comes around, I’m a huge fan of Autumn. I love the cooler, crisper nights, the leaves as they turn colours and the smell of pumpkin-scented everything.
Yet, it’s not time yet. We still need the intense heat and humidity of summer to oppress us to the point that we feel we can’t take it anymore. The grass is still green and healthy. When it’s a dried shade of greenish yellow because the dryness and heat of the summer has taken it’s toll, then it might be time for the autumn décor.
It’s much like seeing Christmas merchandise in stores at this time of year. It has no power over us. In July, the Santa Clauses, the cuddly snowmen and the sparkle of tinsel are just items that might register in our awareness but they don’t matter. Not yet. I don’t know about you but there’s something that happens to me when I find a clearance shelf in a store that’s riddled with super cheap Christmas stuff in July. The thing that happens to me is that my brain simply doesn’t pay it any mind. It simply is just ‘junk’ that has most likely been sitting there so long that it’s broken, chipped or just not worth buying.
It’s interesting because when it’s in season, I love Christmas. I’m always sad when it’s over and I hold onto it as long as I can. Yet, as the weeks pass, so does the urge to eat candy canes and drink eggnog.
Well, actually, since I think eggnog is quite revolting, that’s a bit of a fabrication but you know what I mean.
My point, and I do have a point, is that while time passes quickly, more so as we get older, it doesn’t help when things are unnecessarily rushed. I know there are crafty folk out there who like to get a head start on the seasonal stuff and it makes sense that you can buy supplies for that whenever you need to do so.
However, for the rest of us, it’s unnecessary to be looking at a jack o’ lantern or a witch holding a jack o’ lantern in July.
I know I’ve blogged about similar things before, primarily with the holidays. Stores now start stocking Christmas stuff before the Halloween candy is even needed. I fully expect to go to Target in a month and start seeing the first red and green tones of the festive holiday season creep in and take over the space formerly occupied by lawn chairs and grills.
The thing is, life passes quickly enough on its own. No matter how hard we try onto certain moments, feelings and memories, time keeps moving forward and creating new ones. We don’t need to be rushed forward any more that life already manages to do.
Seasons should be organic and natural. When summer is really winding down, we know. Here in the Midwest, it comes with the slow and gentle fading out of the crickets and cicadas. The grass, as I mentioned, starts to lose it’s green sheen and becomes lackluster. There’s the slightest hint of a chill to the air though it hasn’t arrived yet. The summer clothes and flipflops start feeling wrong. The appeal of a thicker sweater, socks and closed-toe shoes grows.
At this point, it’s time for Autumn décor. It’s time to bring out the scarecrows, the cider and the pumpkins.
The same goes for every season. With winter, no matter how much I love snow, the sudden appeal of daffodils, sunshine and blue skies arrives. The bulky winter clothes start feeling like too much. The taste of root vegetables and gravies is no longer as pleasurable and the longing for a fresh, sunwarmed tomato and the smell of fresh basil grows.
You get the idea. It’s an organic thing. We just know. We don’t need stores to try to force the process. As consumers, we know when it’s time. It’s just as when we go in the store, see Christmas displays and suddenly feel a leap of pleasure at the cute snowmen, shiny Santas and peppermint stripes.
As I said, we just know when it’s time. It’s an innate sense of knowing when the seasons are changing and we must keep up. You can’t force it.
This is why I can continue to enjoy the sounds, smells and taste of summer without feeling a sense of panic that it’s almost over already. There are still several moments of heat. We haven’t even hit the ‘dog days’ yet.
By that time, I might just be ready for pumpkins and scarecrows. But for now…I’m not. I’ll stick with my butterflies and flowers.