No, I’m not writing about the Vivaldi composition. Well, I could link it to you for sure, but that’s not really the theme here. I would have to do a lot more research to be able to write an entire blogpost about that. What I meant to say is, the seasons are a’changing now. In Sweden at least, summer has with certainty and determination taken the giant step into fall, with all things, good and bad, in tow. So without further ado, I present to you, a little something about what I think about when I think about the Four Seasons.
I feel that spring brings out the child in us all. Yes, we become wild and crazy to break free from a long and hard winter, but in a soft and kind way. Everything seems brighter, softer yet with more contrast. The colours are vibrant yet natural, gentle enough that they won’t scare a doe or frighten a hare that peaks through the greenery. For me as a child, spring always meant Easter with all its joys. Egg-hunts, egg-eating, egg-boiling, egg-painting, egg-cracking. Chocolate and candy in giant colourful papier-mache containers. Decorations galore. Sour herring on hard-bread with gräddfil. And more eggs. Oh the special sort of magic there was for me in that early morning, sneaking around the house in the hope to catch the Easter Bunny on his busy route. In later years once I started losing faith, the honour of egg-hider sometimes fell on my skinny shoulders. But I think what I looked forward to the very most with spring was the flowers. I have always, and probably will always, love, live, breathe for flowers. To be able to make that first wraith and place on my head in a playful attempt at some long forgotten youthful goddess was for me an insurmountable joy.
Ah the warmth. The long days, the light almost tangible, certainly tangible when it turns into a solid sunburn on your bare skin. For me as a child, summer started off as a hazy blur of splashing around in the kiddy-pool or the ocean, then wild-strawberries threaded onto grass-straws, then the smell of benzine at gas-stations as we stopped for ice-cream. As soon as I got past the toddler stadium it was about fighting the imaginary enemies that me and my siblings saw in the tall weeds, a fallen tree turned into a fort, we’d hide amongst stacks of fire-wood with nuts and dried fruits that we’d stolen from the kitchen… but better still were summers as I got just a little older. Then I started seeing the magic in all. I could see the little fairies as they darted in the twilight-shadows, the tress whispering in the mild breeze, the special words and spells you could bind on a midsummer-night. Summer-rain was something truly special and fine, something to be enjoyed fully in silence, just accepting the lukewarm downpour. Thunder, oh the thunder and lightning! I would run outside so I could feel the mighty rumbles all the better, my worried parents calling after me. Oh the thunder-storm on a hot summer afternoon, followed by that fresh flowery scent that rises out of the very earth itself when glistening with the blessed summer-rain steams itself onwards into starry night.
This season is what made me start writing this blogpost. I’m feeling it rising verily in my blood as we speak. I’ve always been a child of the fall you see 🙂 When I said that the sort of wildness you feel in spring is a childish and sweet one, I meant compared to the one you feel in the fall. Autumn brings about something heavy and dark, and urge to live and breathe while there’s still red in the leaves, before the ground freezes. Fall to me is hunt, gather, search, taste, see… crisp cold apples right of the branch stinging your teeth, that unique rustle of just fallen leaves underfoot, that special bite that the crazed wind brings to your cheeks… How can anyone explain just the way they feel when they see a Rowan ripe with berries in the evening-suns fire-rays? It’s a secret of ancient times, something that was spoken of so long ago we can’t quite understand the mystery now. Fall is my favourite season for that very reason. It’s wild, ripe, strong, fearless yet desperate, warm yet ruthless. It lets us feel what we feel, and if we feel nothing it makes us.
Mmmmmm. It instantly makes me think of that special, snuggly, well-earned feeling you get when you’ve been out playing in the snow for hours and get inside to a roaring fire and a cup of hot chocolate. Do you think that is only a cliché and the stuff of stories? Because that was a whole lot of my winters growing up. That and struggling out of the drenched, stuffy winter-clothes. That and getting a face-full of snow. That and getting colds and aches and not being able to go outside. But despite all the hardships of winter, the special sense of calm that it brings us when all of nature falls asleep in a long and slow dream of spring, that special sense makes it all worth it to me. And then there’s Christmas. To some it is just a commercial trick to lure people into spending their money on worthless knacks and stress themselves into heart-attacks. But for me Christmas was stuffing little Santa’s helpers and angels into every available corner of the house, rolling out the Christmas-linens of every flat surface, decorating the ridiculously prickly fern-tree that my dad and older brothers had brought in from the forest nearby and then sitting back to wait for 12am to roll around, when the ham would be done cooking in the oven and we’d get to sneak some hot slices with mustard before bedtime. And when my dad read aloud to us from Susan Cooper’s “Dark is Rising” as we spread the butter thickly on the Welsh Bara Brith and felt the cold wind try to force its way through the floor as we sat wide-eyed on lambskin rugs well into the dark hours… winter just couldn’t get better. And probably never will.
So which season is your favourite, if you have one? Why do you love or hate the seasons? What’s a really good seasonal memory that you’d like to share?