and sometimes they are more myth than reality.
When we think of winter, as a concept, we might imagine a beautiful blanket of snow glistening on the lacy branches of trees, a warm fire crackling in the fireplace, surrounded by people cuddled up in cozy sweaters with mugs of hot cocoa, or maybe the sparkling eyes of a child as she beholds the magic of the Christmas tree.
Spring is the season of renewal and hope, delicate buds blossoming, blue skies and puffy white clouds and warm breezes. We think of children scampering gaily over to grassy fields, hunting for pastel-colored eggs and chocolate bunnies as cheerful sun shines down.
Then there’s summer, with its promise of picnics and cookouts and fireworks. We envision lazy days on the river or in the swimming pool, sleepy afternoons on the patio or in a hammock, the aroma of burgers on the grill mixing with the sweet perfume of the lilac bush and honeysuckle vines.
Autumn – ah, autumn. Colorful leaves swirling in the brisk wind or crunching underfoot, pumpkins and cornstalks and scarecrows bedecking every porch. Crisp apples and tangy cider, cinnamon and spice, long walks in the woods followed by hayrides and wienie roasts and firepits.
Does anyone really rake their leaves into a big pile and jump in anymore? Or does the lawn mower just zoom over the lawn and chop everything up into mulch?
Do families still gather around the kitchen table as Dad cuts open the pumpkin and the kids squeal with delicious glee as they reach in and pull out the slimy, stringy guts and seeds, and then happily applaud as the gap-toothed grin is carved on the shell? Or does Mom just go to the hobby store and buy a ceramic pumpkin in decorator colors that match the wreath on the front door?
Do kids still poke the ends of long sticks into fat, fluffy marshmallows and hold them over a campfire until they are toasted to perfection – or until they catch on fire, and you have to wave them around until the fire goes out and everyone laughs as the marshmallow falls off the stick and into the ashes? Or do they just raid the pantry for a bag of chips and snack mindlessly away as they stare into the glow of their electronic device?
Seasons are stories we tell ourselves.
And we all have the power to change the narrative.