“I’m glad it’s finally hot enough to complain about how hot it is.” ~ searchquotes.com
Greek mythology says the four seasons came to be due to a mother’s grief (and persistence.) Demeter was the goddess of the harvest, the wife of Zeus. Their daughter, Persphone, wandered too far from her mother while picking flowers. Hades, the god of the underworld and brother to Zeus, deciding Persephone should be his, kidnapped her and forced her to be his queen. A grief-stricken Demeter went into a deep depression, which affected every living thing on earth. Her sadness caused a year-long famine, with no end in sight, persuading Zeus to strike a deal with his brother. Persephone would live six months with Hades and six months back with her mother.
Persephone spent spring and summer with her mother when the harvest and all life would bloom and grow from Demeter’s happiness. In the fall and winter, everything would go dormant and die because of the sadness her mother felt.
As seasons go, I’ve always been a fall person. Not in a dormant and sad way, but in a warm and cozy one. Cinnamon is too important to let my taste buds wander off into second rate fruit snow cone territory.
But here we are in July, and I have to admit I have been sensing a small but steadily growing “but.”
(As opposed to a steadily growing “butt,” which will be in early winter during crock pot season.)
I love autumn color, but the catalpa tree in my backyard is at its prettiest in spring and summer.
I like sweatshirts and peppermint tea in front of a fireplace, but fresh cilantro and grilled citrus make the hot air feel lighter.
I remember bits and pieces of summer as a child. My memories vary from the feeling of the window air conditioner smell wafting around me as I watched Bugs Bunny and walking the few blocks from our house to the ball diamond with sunflower seeds and candy wax bottles in hand.
I liked summer—I still do like summer, but I don’t think I’ve ever loved it. I don’t wait impatiently for it to arrive like I do fall. By mid-July, I’m generally over it, wishing for just a single independently minded leaf to fade into the slightest hue of orange.
But this year is different. 95 degree temperatures aside, I’m honestly liking this summer thing. Hot is not my favorite temperature and I handle it less elegantly each year. I turn beet red, I get headaches, my fingers swell. It’s a genetic thing. Pleasant.
Here’s that “but” again.
But I’m still kinda into it. Maybe I’m just opening my eyes to what’s happening instead of what’s going to happen. The leaves will drop, just not quite yet.
Right now, that aforementioned catalpa tree is full and green and gorgeous. Hollyhocks are bursting daily, my container garden is blooming plants are very much alive and expanding and there’s usually a shady spot somewhere.
Summer, you have my attention. I know fall will come and that makes me happy because I love me some spice cookies. But Demeter is living in a corner of my mind. I carry my own apprehension about the end of these current pair of seasons.
Summer will fade and my youngest daughter will start high school. The beginning of my favorite time of year will now be shared with this new step. I’m apprehensive about it. I’m excited for it. I feel… like a mom, I suppose.
But let’s focus on today for today. It’s sunny out. It’s summertime.
Demeter had to find a way to balance it all. The circle goes on—spring to summer to fall to winter. And then again and again. It has to be about finding the best parts of the season we’re in.
If she can do it, we can do it.