Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

To Everything There Is A Season - and I'm out of It

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

To Everything There Is A Season - and I'm out of It

Article excerpt

The first snowfall of the season always catches me by surprise. The snow shovels are still lodged in the rafters above the garage. The garden hose is wrapped frozen around the outdoor spigot beside the house. This year our bed-sheet ghost was still hanging in the maple tree when four inches arrived before Thanksgiving. Georgie, our Halloween spook, had been hanging in that tree for two months, and now suddenly he was covered with snow.

"Mom, we've got to get Georgie out of the tree," my children begged. "We're a season behind!"

"I know, I know," I replied. Another breach of season. It happens every year. Dragging the stepladder out of the garage, I positioned it solidly under Georgie, and then climbed up to snip the old season out of the tree to make ready for a new, colder one. I hold onto seasons the way a cat's tail curls around its body. I don't let go easily. That's why I get caught short. One year I left a summer garden's worth of onions on my picnic table, and they too were soon covered by a November snowfall. My efforts to improve that situation were not at all successful. I placed the wet bulbs on top of my clothes dryer to air them out, and after a few weeks, they were, shall we say, onion flakes. I call this lack of readiness my seasonal lapse, my reluctance to move forward. I drag my feet when the seasons change. That's why I continue to wear bathing suits through the fall - under a sweatshirt. It's why I resist wearing a coat and gloves in October until the mercury falls below freezing. Then, behold! Spring surprises me just when I'm getting used to winter. We barely take the Christmas wreath off the front door when Easter is upon us. The buds are appearing on the trees, and the birds are looking for nesting sites. My next-door neighbor left her wreath up until midsummer because the robins had been raising their young among the branches since May. As I'd pass by her house to get my morning mail, there would be a parent bird darting in and out of Missy's doorway with worms or grubs. Missy's children were delighted by the flurry of activity so close to home. But absentmindedness has a positive side to it, especially if we're talking about the transforming power of snow. …

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