When I was a little girl and even when my children were young, we had four distinct seasons: autumn, winter, spring and summer. We knew it was autumn because red and yellow leaves covered the ground and we’d crunch our way to school, enjoying the snap and crackle of crispness under our saddle shoes.  

When the leaves were gone and the trees bare, we’d wake up one morning to see branches dressed in sparkling ice, like diamonds shining in the sun, and fluffy white snow covering the brown earth. We’d dress in snowsuits and mittens and build ice forts and igloos and pull our sleds out to slide down gentle slopes, screaming as if they were trails through treacherous mountains threatening to avalanche at any given moment!

Spring came gently then, the winds of March preceding April showers and finally the budding crocus pushing its way through slowly greening earth. Gentle breezes and warming temperatures gave promise to our favorite time, summer, when school would be out and we children felt the freedom of nothing to do but play and enjoy childhood.

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For quite a while now, we haven’t had spring and the cold of February seems to go straight to the heat of August, no stop in between. What happened to the gentle winds announcing re-birth and blue skies and green earth? Where are all the beautiful leaves of autumn covering the ground and flying above the clouds, bringing the end of summer and the start of a new school year? It was bittersweet because we were losing our free time but could look forward to seeing school friends and the promise of winter fun.  

We still have seasons, but they’re all lumped together like poorly cooked oatmeal instead of smooth mashed potatoes. There’s no definition, no demarcation, just overlapping temperature changes. 

Perhaps this is the way of the world telling us to not be too complacent with anything because nature will do as she pleases, regardless of our desires or remembrances. Each new generation will have its own likes, make its own memories and eventually adjust to different changes.  

You can’t miss what you’ve never known, and perhaps we romanticize what we do remember. I can still feel that wonderful autumn weather, though, when we rolled in stacks of raked leaves; the winter’s snowball fights; the essence of spring and the childhood freedom of a long, unencumbered summer.  

Don’t you wish we could all go back and do it again with the great joy and innocence of the very young?!

To reach Adrienne, email ergosum1@comcast.net