*Beginning in 2010, I started writing a bi-weekly column, “From Richard’s Oft Cluttered Desk” which appears every other Wednesday.
Everyone has a favorite season, don’t they? Do you? I meet a lot of people from all parts of the country and everyone seems to have a favorite and a least favorite season. But as each season comes and goes, I like them all. Honest.
For starters, I grew up in Iowa. There is nothing like a North Iowa winter and if you have yet to experience it, I feel like it is something everyone should experience once in their lifetimes. It’s that early February morning when you get up before the sun rises. There is a fresh layer of snow on the ground that needs to be shoveled away onto the 18 inches that fell the weekend before.
The air is so cold it bites at your uncovered cheeks. Your nose becomes a solid block on the end of your face. As you step on the driveway to shovel the snow away, the snow has a distinct crunch that only solidly frozen snow has. It’s a crispy-crunchy sound. And once you’re through with the shoveling, you must start your car. It takes a few tries, but you’re finally able to get the door open to get inside.
You slide down into the frozen leather seats that you knew were a great idea only a few months before. It’s still dark and you can see your breath glance off the windshield and spray around the car.
Finally, you insert your key with your frozen fingers and turn on the ignition. You hear the car attempt to come to life. The pistols which have oil stuck to them at ridiculously cold temperatures try to move. The cry tries and tries and then suddenly, as if it were no task at all, the engine comes to life; screaming. Then you slide out to scrape all the snow and frost off the windows so you can drive once the car is warmed up. For four months, this is a daily ritual. And I love it.
But I also love the spring. When the snow starts to melt and the grass starts to reappear brings re-birth. There is a freshness in the air. There is life. The world goes from gray and white to green and blue. the air isn’t really quite warm yet, but it’s warm in relation to that snowy day a few months before.
And then comes the summer. It’s warm. Sometimes unbearably so. But the heat also means life. The flowers start to bloom and outdoor picnics occur nearly every weekend. The grill is cleaned and primed for another summer of smokey meats and potatoes. The baseball gloves slip onto hands of all ages.
And as if there were any chance that we could stop it, the fall comes. The colors change from the springtime greens and blues to oranges and browns. But something happens in the sky as well: it changes to golden purple as summer turns into fall. The smell is beautiful. As the leaves start to fall to the ground, the scent is something of accomplishment. The cycle has completed and another winter is upon us. It’s the last true scent before the snow returns.
There are still a few grills to fire up and a few baseballs to toss around before that. I’m the guy who loves each and every season. They all bring something different and something to look forward to. It is something I look forward to … seasons all. Each one offers a chance at life and redemption. And this season I’m living.
Ah, yes. The air is crisp and the smell is clear. A lot has been done, but much remains. But for this moment, I breath in and breath out, in and out, and just live.