Thursday, January 24, 2019

Seasons

Written by  Jim Nakoneshny

Recently we’ve entered a new season. Actually, we’ve begun several new seasons, which can make it seem somewhat confusing, but more on that later. First of all, we’re now a few weeks into winter. This may seem strange because we’ve been living with the snow and cold for several months already. How can winter just be starting?

In Saskatchewan, it seems that the traditional climatic seasons don’t match our reality. On the first day of Spring we are more likely to see a snowplow than a tulip, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the year. Summer makes its grand appearance on the 21st of June, yet on the 22nd the days start getting shorter. How is that fair? Halfway through September there are frost warnings and the leaves are turning, yet it’s still summer! When autumn finally arrives, it feels more like an afterthought than a whole season in its own right. As mentioned previously, by the time winter formally comes out of the shadows in December it’s already well in control.

There have been various suggestions over the years as to how to improve this situation – some considerably more tongue-in-cheek than others. One idea I particularly liked saw the traditional 4 seasons converted into 5 slightly shorter ones, making way for a new (yet still completely familiar) season at the tail end. Sounds a bit odd at first blush, but it actually makes sense. Five well-timed, 73 day-long seasons.

In this proposal, Winter would begin on January 1 with cold and darkness (as usual). It’s miserable, but short. You’d then be welcomed by Spring in mid-March, which would encompass the usual transition from the spring thaw to the budding of trees and flowers. This new spring would last up to the end of May, relinquishing its hold once the weather starts to turn warm. This would then be the new start of Summer, running through the nicest part of the year – outdoor sports, BBQ dinners and days at the lake, wrapping up just after the August long weekend. At that point Autumn begins, encompassing the harvest as well as back to school. This earlier autumn would fit well with the shorter evenings and cooler days, making for a more natural lead-up to cold and frost at the end of October.

This shift then makes room for the new “Festive Season”, stretching from just before Halloween to New Years Eve. While now formally a season, it’s really nothing new. It just takes all of the Halloween fun and dress-up events, Grey Cup parties, year-end celebrations, holiday movie nights, Christmas parties, and other family and community activities and gives them a proper home. It also helps camouflage the fact that winter lasts twice as long as it should. See? This really works.

Here at the church we’ve also switched seasons, transitioning from Christmas to Ordinary Time and working our way up to the season of Lent. The rest of western society has also changed seasons, moving from Christmas to Boxing Day sales and then into the Self Improvement / Home Improvement Season. You know: gym memberships, treadmills and fitness machines plus bathroom fixtures, storage totes and basement shelving units.

 

With so many things happening all at once it can be hard to keep on top of it all and sometimes things get overlooked. Maybe we didn’t make it out to the farm for Christmas or eat healthier meals in January, or give up chocolate for Lent, or plant a garden in the spring. That’s of joy of seasons – they’re cyclical. They just keep on coming around giving us another chance to do the things we’d intended.

Read 409 times Last modified on Thursday, January 24, 2019