In Which Season Do You Shine?

Photo by RAS Jacobson

Yesterday, my summer son landed back on planet Earth. He came from summer camp via yellow bus and was deposited in a parking lot along with his summer siblings. His voice, gone from three weeks of cheering at Color Wars and singing songs in the Dining Hall. He said this was his best summer yet. And next year, he wants to stay for four weeks. We spent hours listening to him talk about “camp stuff.” What he did, what he ate, moments he loved, moments he didn’t love. If there were any pretty girls. How everyone got along; how his counselors were. And much, much more.

Alas, we are going to have to kick into school mode pretty quickly.

First of all, the middle school is looming there in my backyard; we simply cannot ignore it. And he has a formal orientation later this week.

Yesterday, before he fell asleep, he pulled me down toward his face. “Mom,” he whispered. ” I love you, but I will miss summer.”

I understand completely.

He’s a summer person.

Today, we will find his locker and he will try out his very first combination lock. He will find his homeroom. He will look around, take in the landscape. Figure out the lay of the land.

And then we are back to the banal tasks, like shopping for new sneakers (he outgrew his while in camp), new shirts and pants (he outgrew his while in camp), and we need to consider things like . . .  food. Because while he was away, my husband and I didn’t set foot in the grocery store. (Which was divine.)  But, with boy back at home, we simply must return to some kind of routine. We   simply cannot continue to eat cereal for dinner. Or peaches and cheese. Or one tomato with salt.

The laundry is spinning as I tap out this quick blog. And my real life looms, too. I have to figure out the time line for my curriculum. Make a few copies. Invite a few guest lecturers. Line up my instruction day in the library so students know how to conduct reliable research in 2010.

Like my son, I  have always been a summer person. I sparkle and shimmer and shine in June, July and August. I love the heat and the water, from pool or ocean. How I used to look forward to the summer. Summer camp. Skinny-dipping. Getting a deep dark delicious tan. (In the 1980s we did these things.) A plain girl, I felt prettier in the summer. Transformed, I always fell in love in the summer. I married in the summer. My son was born in the summer.

But now, I feel autumn creeping up on me, wrapping her fingers around my throat.

It has been a wonderful summer, and I am so grateful to have everyone home together.

Yesterday, I was waxing nostalgic for the many wonders of summer, a friend informed me that she actually hates summer. That, in fact, it is her least favorite season. I was shocked. Horrified. How could it be? She explained her story to me, and I understand it — but it is a foreign concept to me. I’d like to hear from others.

In which season do you feel the most alive? Can you explain?

24 thoughts on “In Which Season Do You Shine?

  1. I cannot bear winter, and while I like fall and spring all right, summer is definitely my favorite. I want to live in a climate where it’s summer all year round – good-bye, seasonally affected disorder! For now, I’m stuck in a place with seasons. Ah well, it makes me appreciate what I have when it is summer. But I’m with you, I feel a sincere mourning sensation when I can tell summer’s drawing to a close.

  2. Winter is my favorite, followed by summer and autumn. I abhor spring. Maybe it’s that i have terrible seasonal allergies. Maybe it’s the mud. Either way, I am miserable from late March – late June.

    I love winter. I love the world being white, black, and generally shades of grey. It’s a great time to sit in front of a fire singing songs with friends, and having a few drinks. It’s snowmobile and ski season; my favorite time to visit my parents in the Adirondacks. The thousands of summer tourists/seasonal homeowners are gone, replaced by locals, hardcore sled-heads, and great friends.

  3. My favourite time is autumn as it can still be reasonably warm & there are such changes with the trees. The world gradually goes to sleep & I can tidy the garden. Next would be spring as it is when the world wakes up. I find summer can be a bit hot & not as interesting garden-wise.

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  4. Easy! I wish it were summer all year. I feel like I am grasping on to every last shred of sunlight and warm days. I am dreading the winter; it really gets to me in November when the darkness creeps in around 4pm [in the northeast]…[hate!]. Summer is too short.

      1. I also LOVE summer and CSL summers were the highlight of my childhood. I remember crying non-stop on the bus home from camp and having a serious case of the post-camp blues after returning home from camp at the end of summer. And summer fruit – there’s nothing like it. I eat watermelon and cherries all summer. I also love spring when the weather gets warm and everything starts to bloom.

  5. OMG Middle School. Get ready Mom. If statistics hold true your delightful child will transform over the next few weeks into the werewolf, Frankenstein, and Dracula simultaneously. It lasts only three years though but you will have aged 20 years. My experience is also that the child’s vocabulary mysteriously shrinks to words that contain only 4 letters. Ask him about the science project everyday each year or he will tell you the Friday night before it is due Monday. If his teeth start to rot and he gains 15 pounds, this is a sign that he is spending his lunch money at the corner store for candy, potato chips, sweet punch drinks and the ilk. (In my case I was betting the horses at 13 with the lunch money and my parents could not understand why I weighed only 52 pounds).

    When I was in junior high, the big kids were old enough to have cars, shave, and be drafted into the US Army. Should be different these days. No matter how experienced you are, how well read, how worldly, how educated, be prepared for another episode of absolute astonishment each day around 4:00 PM. You will be a veteran after this. Should handle high school well. Then there’s college. Then grandchildren. And you get to start all over again. Because of this, I will speak to Congress to change Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to Mother’s Month and Father’s Month. Regards.

  6. Fall. Hands down, I am a fall girl. I love the smell, the cooler air, the changes in colors on the trees. For me, it’s like a new beginning.

  7. I am at my best in the summer! I, too, love the heat, the pool; I even love the humidity! It is cool here today and I find myself getting a little depressed. I often ask my husband why we moved here and not south. I am not looking forward to winter at all. Blah… Summer is when I shine =D

  8. Autumn definitely — when I was younger it meant new school clothes and new experiences — now It’s the food and the holidays. Everything from Rosh Hashanah with honey-coated taiglach to Thanksgiving with Turkey and stuffing! Fall is Turkey roasting time, soup making time, brisket time, pie baking time!

    1. My husband would agree with you 100% on everything you just said. He loves the change in season because of the beautiful colors and all the tasty, hearty meals that come with autumn: He is also a huge fan of corn mazes and apple cider.

  9. I enjoy summer – despite what I feel is overwhelming heat, some days. But – the gardening. Bare legs. Exposed and manicured toenails in cute sandals. Sleeping in. Lazing about. Well – some of us get summers like that. Late sunsets. Thunderstorms. Cool mornings and hot afternoons. Sunshine on the shimmering pool, the smell of chlorine and sunscreen. I do enjoy fall though, because of the changing season – but isn’t it so strange to put on long pants that first cold day, when you’ve been living in shorts for months and months? It’s so confining!

  10. Spring time. The heat here is way too hot for me to enjoy much of the outdoors during summer but spring time, though brief in Nola is absolutely beautiful and can not be beat. Rain and street vendors and the smell of food cooking outdoors. The big trees and the crape myrtles in bloom along with hibiscus and jasmine, mmmmm, delicious.

    1. Okay, so sometimes it felt like I was being blasted by a hot hair dryer, but . . . as long as there was a pool nearby, I was okay. 😉 I guess, for the most part, New Orleans felt like living in an eternal summer, so I’d have to agree with you.

      Nola in April is pretty close to perfect. I miss crawfish boils, and no one here knows what lagniappe means. 🙁

  11. My favorite time of year is early fall. The colors are brilliant in color.l Then, the first day of Spring when my crocuses come out to say hello. Summer is wonderful, but the hot days are hard on me. Winter is my least favorite but I love the first snowfall. Then winter can be over.

  12. Spring – optimism, summer – warmth, autumn/fall – colours and leaf crunching. I can do without the season of drizzle and fog.

  13. I love springtime with the cool nights and warm days…the delicate, pale green leaves as they begin to sprout and then uncurl ever so slowly…the scent of the flowering trees and shrubs…what a delight!

    1. I love your description, Susan. How sensual, all these descriptions of favorite seasons. Good inspiration, Renee.

  14. Oh, fall, yes INDEED. Leaves changing, pumpkin bread baking, crisp apple eating, scary story reading (I still re-read the old ones, every year), nesting…yep, fall for me. And spring’s lovely too. I’ve always loved those transitional states…

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