Spring

Hmmm, ok. 500 words about Spring. Spring is my 3rd favorite season, which isn’t a great placing. The problem with Spring is that it has generally ceased to exist around here! I think because of global warming/climate change it so often feels like we are going straight from Winter to Summer with no stop in between. Therefore it is hard to write about Spring when it feels like it barely exists for any length of time.

But Spring is when it starts to warm up and many people like the move away from snow and cold. It is a time of growth and when all the things that grow start to come alive. When I think of Spring, I think of gentle rain and I think of rainbows. As much I like Winter I do understand it can be harsh for people after a while and thus Spring can be a welcome change.

Spring means the end of the school year, which is deeply appreciated, 9 months in the trenches can be exhausting for any teacher or student. When May or June comes around it is refreshing to know that the next 3 months are wide open for you to do with what you like.

Spring is usually not super-hot which is why I find it more bearable. When I was young, I remember being on the school bus and being able to open the windows for the first time. I remember the excitement of the end of the school year. This was especially welcome for me given that I was physically and emotionally terrorized by my peers. It wasn’t just the end of school. It was literally the end of being beaten and verbally assaulted. Seasons have a way of deeply imprinting themselves upon our memory. For me, then, Spring represents a kind of liberation. Liberation from the torture of jail and a break from my imprisoners. That last bus ride home for the school year was everything for me. Freedom! And the just-getting-warmer weather and the growth of so much vegetation was linked to that emancipation.

I write a lot about my bullying. Bullying affects different people in different ways and in different amounts. For me, it affects me severely. It has really done a job on me. Thus when I can think of or find things that flip the frame of that time I welcome them gladly. Because as horrifying as it was, there were always little things that helped to break up the pain and misery. Spring was one and getting home to see the family pets was another.

To end this little series on the Seasons, I would like to state the obvious: the seasons represent the cycle of life. They also represent very unique things to each person based on their individual experiences. They imprint their charm upon us, we well as their sadness. When I am outside and the weather is perfectly appropriate for a given season, the memories swirl. The weather itself brings them back. Such is the power of the Seasons and the strong feelings and sense of déjà vu they engender.

 

 

Fall [Autumn]

Fall is my second favorite season. In addition to being the gateway to winter, it is also one of the most beautiful seasons because of the foliage. Living in NH, we get some of the best foliage in the country, though Vermont likely beats us.

Autumn is inexorably linked to the beginning of the school year for me. This is a doubled-edged sword. On the one hand it is a new year with new possibility, on the other it is the end of summer and the beginning if another work year.

There is nothing quite like a crisp Autumn day. It is fun to go for walks and fun to feel the crunch of the multi-colored leaves underneath your feet.

Autumn in New England can be quite cool, which is what I love. School starts in late August and can be awfully hot for 3 or even 4 of the first weeks. I am SO relieved by the time this late Summer/early Fall heat is over and done with. It is such a relief to be over with this heat and humidity. The cool and crisp autumn air is a delight.

Perhaps because I am so wedded to the academic year calendar, Fall speaks to the possibility of new things. It is amazing how much that academic calendar has been drilled into me, so much so that it is more salient for me than the regular calendar year.

Fall makes me think of my time at Phillips Exeter Academy. Between the ages of 14-18, I was a student there. They had trimesters: Fall, Winter and Spring. Summer school was a whole different deal. Since Summer was not a part of the regular academic year, all three seasons had appeal to me. Fall was about beginnings and about the cool crisp air and the plentiful foliage on the trees scattered around campus. I used to walk around and feel the crunch of the foliage under my feet. It also reminds me of loneliness. Making friends was not my strength while at PEA. But I understand this and forgive myself for it because I was coming off of 8 years of severe trauma. I was bullied throughout elementary school and junior high. High intensity bullying lessened at PEA, but it was replaced by isolation. In some ways, I don’t know which was worse. Something about Fall made the myriad of brick buildings around campus seem more romantic and accessible. In the dead of winter they often seemed more foreboding for some reason. My time at PEA will forever be connected to the season of Fall for me.

One of the special things about Fall foliage is orange leaves. Orange is by far my favorite color and there is nothing like seeing a whole tree covered with orange leaves. For me it is breathtaking because it combines my love for fall with my love for trees and the color orange. A fierce orange tree, leaves blowing in the wind, falling to the ground, is an image that makes my heart go aflutter. Finally, my birthday is October 5, so it also helps to make Fall special to me (Go Libras!). Although it is not Winter, Fall is a close second in my book and a season I greatly look forward to after a long, hot summer. It provides cooler weather and great beauty via its foliage. Sitting here in mid-March, it seems so far away. But come again it will and I look forward to it already.