I’ve heard it said that southerners think we northeners are like ants. We scurry about, hurryhurryhurry, to get things done — such silly northerners, why don’t you slow down and enjoy things for a while?
Well… here in the northeastern states, our “growing and doing season” is terribly brief. We really only have 4 to 5 months to cram everything in before we’re clobbered with blizzards and must return to our winter hidey-holes. I don’t think we northerners ENJOY racing around from May to September, but we can’t really paint the house, install windows, plant the garden, get a new roof, build the sheds and garages, and cram in vacations during the winter. The race against the season is on. So, yes, I suppose we do resemble ants for a time.
Autumn is probably our favorite season, when the weather is still good but life starts to slow down from the crazy-busy summer activities. It’s a time when we can actually rest easy for a moment, maybe enjoy a relaxing conversation by an open campfire or take a leisurely stroll through the burgeoning kaleidoscope of deciduous forests.
Oh, it’s a good time.
Yet in the back of our minds is the stark realization that in only a few more months, we will retreat back into our homes, our bodies imitating the dormancy of nature when the icy arctic air finally extends its fingers over our soil. Autumn is our only time to regroup, that quiet time between the tilling of the springtime soil and the shoveling of the wintertime snow. This is our intermission when we can breathe pure, clear, crisp air without gasping from summer’s suffocating humidity and winter’s brittle ice crystals.
It’s a good time.
I do like winter, too. It’s my second-favorite season. Some folks hate it and seem to view it like a toddler who is being forced to take a midday nap. Not me. I love its placid purity, I love the white tranquility that settles over the community with every snowfall and drop in degree. Winter is a fine season, especially before the heating bills roll in.
And it’s coming. There’s talk amongst us that this winter will be a hard one, bitter cold and dry. As we northeners gather our zucchinis, mow our lawns, wipe the final burst of perspiration from our brows, we are mentally preparing for the inevitable. I suppose we must still resemble ants at this stage.
Ah, but autumn is coming! Delicious, enchanting autumn, it arrives like an opiate for our heat-hardened bodies.
It’s a good time.