Three Seasons

When I studied monkeys and tropical rainforests, I missed the four seasons. True, for a naturalist, there is little to compare with the riot of jungle life. But having grown up with the rhythm of change, it was strange adjusting to places that had only two seasons – dry and rainy.
Living now in a place where the four seasons are literally almost exact to the calendar, I look forward to each. But the longer I am in one place, the more I see the fallacy of that perception. There are dramatic differences in each season. But within each there are echoes of the season past, and whispers of the one to come.
At first glance, this looks like a classic winter scene. But looking closer, it shows three seasons in one. The oak clings stubbornly to its fading leaves, waving like a tribute of tiny flags saluting fall. The earth is covered with wintry snow, a fresh blanket of white. But the ice is thinning at the river’s edge. If you could hear this photo, you would first notice the water’s babbling. Then you would hear the tentative song of a bluebird, and far in the distance a mourning dove’s plaintive call. Yes it is still winter, but the lingering autumn leaves rustle like ghosts, and the seeds of spring are already silently taking root. So I will revel in this day, though even as I feel its cold bite I sense it is already almost a memory.