All my life, the coming of autumn has made me grumpy. It meant winter was around the corner, and I hate winter. But my ill temper was no match for last year’s drop-dead gorgeous autumn. It made me realize that all my life, as soon as the temperatures cooled and the leaves turned, winter began in my mind. Living in the future, I missed the joys of the present.
I trace my anti-winter bias to my kidhood. Autumn meant returning to school, relegating summer’s fun to memory. It’s funny how our youthful attitudes can linger long past their usefulness, but I still feel free in the summer and burdened in the winter. I’d rather wear shorts and T-shirts than layer sweaters and heavy coats. I’d rather mow the lawn than shovel the driveway (especially after shoveling my way out of the Blizzard of ’78). I’d rather open the windows than turn on the heat (and pay the bill).
But I’m finally able to enjoy autumn’s beauty, and it’s great.
My newfound appreciation of autumn can’t supplant my love of spring and summer. I will probably always feel a little sad the first day I have to wear a jacket and the first evening I drive home from work in the dark. But maybe I’ll accept these changes more easily now.
I am still going to hate winter, though!
I learned the hard way that Indiana winters exact revenge when you duck them for warmer climates. Read the story.