The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to appreciate the Spring season.
In childhood, I thought of the Spring as a wet, muddy, yucky time of the year between winter and summer. My seasonal allergies would start to kick in. It would be warm and sunny and hopeful one day, and then cold and rainy and dismal the next. The end of the school year seemed to drag on forever. It was no fun.
Over time, though, my perceptions changed. I’ve charted out a rough percentage of perceived satisfaction during the various seasons of the year, throughout the various seasons of my life — and it looks something like this:
The Fall has always been fun and fresh for me. I’ve pretty much always enjoyed the cool, crisp weather conditions (typically without too much rain). I like the return to regularity that comes after summer scuttles the rest of the year’s routines. I like the regalia of football games and apple orchards and pumpkin patches and crunchy leaves on the ground — though it’s all started to tire me out a bit more than it used to.
The Winter used to be a time for playing in the snow. Christmas was always a highlight. So it started out ranking pretty high on my list — but when I moved to Amsterdam, the winter became a time of depression and despair. I grew to dislike the cold. And the winter holidays became more complicated, as an adult. There are still some things I like about winter, but it’s dropped in the rankings overall.
The Summer used to feel uncomfortably warm for me. I’ve never enjoyed the sensation of feeling hot and sticky. And summers often felt like a long, slow melt into boredom. I liked the break from school, all right. But I usually felt happy when summer was finished. More recently, though, I’ve come to think of summers as a beautiful break from the rest of life. I generally get to travel a bit. I appreciate anniversary celebrations and grilling out and swimming and such.
The Spring can still be wet and muddy. But there’s also something really powerful about seeing the world come to life again after a season of dormancy. The flowers and the buds thrill me in a way that I never really paused to notice during my younger years. The Spring feels like a healthy reminder of the cycles of life. It fills my heart with hope for the future. And that hope is a far rarer resource than I ever used to realize.
I’m glad that Spring is in the air right now.