The Cycle of the Seasons
My History With the Four Seasons
I grew up in Western Washington until I was eleven. It was and still is a stunningly beautiful state. The seasons are very distinct and I've always found the change from one season to the next thrilling. We moved to southern California in 1967 when I was eleven. Talk about culture shock. I was horrified at the thick, dirty blanket of smog which hovered over the whole of southern California year round. I remember coming out of class one day and my lungs were burning and it was hard to breathe. They don't have seasons there. Just warm, hot, and average temperatures. They do have glorious flowers, some last year round, others only at certain times. As a side note, they also have frequent earthquakes (I've been in many), fires that devour hundreds of miles of vegetation and homes, and usually, this is followed a few months later with a lot of rain and the burnt areas become mudslides.
I always hated 80° Christmases. When I became an adult my mom remarried and moved to a desert community called Salton Sea Beach. It was nestled by the shore of the great salt lake called of course the Salton Sea. It was nasty to go down to the lake and see dead fish on the shore and the stench was hideous. At Christmas time Santa rode in on water skies donned in a waterproof Santa suit. His elves waited on the shore with the sack of toys and treats because Santa needed both hands to ski. My kids and all the community children thought it was so cool. A mere novelty to me. It was often 80° to 90°. I just couldn't enjoy candy canes with the stench making me gag.
In 1990 my husband and I were sick of it all, hundreds of miles of freeways and a strip mall on every corner. We were tired of the smog and lack of seasons, outlandish housing prices, and not knowing our neighbors and there being no sense of community. People were cold and uninterested in befriending neighbors. We despised nearly everything about southern California except some of the beaches. So we packed our bags and moved up to my homeland - Western Washington, where the air is always fresh, the mountain views are heart-stopping, and the stunning waters of the Puget Sound wend their way through the whole region. We have wildlife everywhere, the fishing is good, state parks are everywhere, and we have - drum roll please - four seasons. Yes, we get a lot of rain, but it keeps our state beautiful and though winter arrives distinctly, we don't get heavy snow like the Midwest and the east.
We moved to a very rural area on the Key Peninsula called Longbranch. We had an orchard, two dozen or more Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Heather, hostas, hydrangeas, huckleberries galore, tulips, daffodils and many other bulbs, a bazillion other types of seasonal plants, trees, and flowers. Western Washington is lush with greenery. When fall came the first year we were there I was thrilled by the colored leaves, the crisp autumn air, ciders, gourds, and the smell of wood smoke (which unfortunately I've become allergic to). At the end of this article, you will see a photo of Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound, just because.
Each season has its own glories and after living here twenty-eight years I never take it for granted. The following poem is my ode to the four seasons. Hope you'll enjoy it.
The Cycle of the Seasons
Spring arrives with bud and rain,
overwhelming winter's gain.
Colored flowers of every kind,
planted gardens of design.
Bees and birds flit and fly,
with seeds and pollen in supply.
Grass and weeds, they grow tall,
defying gardeners with their sprawl.
Before we know it summer's here,
a time we wait for all the year.
It's time for frolics in the lake,
and barbecues of dogs and steak.
The grass is soft, every blade,
Trees make canopies of shade.
The sun rises with brazen hues,
and sets late eve with stunning views.
As summer gardens wither and wane,
autumn colors stake their claim.
Leaves stained russet, fire, and gold,
dance on air with grace untold.
Wood smoke fragrances the air,
chilly and crisp, we sweaters wear.
Pumpkins, squash, and gourds festoon,
owls hoot at harvest moon.
When autumn’s final curtain falls,
the starkness of winter palls.
Winter demands foliage die,
to lie in state, drear and dry.
The entrance of frigid gloom,
propels us into nature’s womb.
Time yawns it seems forever,
mourning in ways whatever.
Thus the cycles of the seasons,
proceed for God’s own reasons.
Let us praise Him, give Him laud,
for His handiwork, applaud.
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Lori Colbo