Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Seasons and a Confession

I have a confession (and it's a bit embarrassing):

I have lived in Wisconsin all my life and have never read Aldo Leopold's 'A Sand County Almanac.' I wince as I write that because I know what you're thinking... how can someone who obviously loves the outdoors (and Wisconsin) have missed reading this iconic book?

Every year it makes it onto my "must read" list, but every year it gets skipped; I have no idea why. I finally bought the book a few weeks ago and have been reading little bits of it before going to bed each night. I get a kick out of the way he sees the natural world and I find his views thought-provoking. I'm wistful for the "good old days" when one had time to ponder the life of a tree instead of today's fast-paced in-your-face technology and input overload.

Aldo Leopold wrote about his quiet early mornings with his dog while making the rounds to check on his farm residents - the animals and trees. (I love knowing that he had a dog!) After reading this, I'm inspired to go to bed at a decent hour so Charlie and I can wake up early and enjoy some sunrises and quiet times before the days get away from me. And since we are losing daylight hours and summer is beginning to wane, I want to spend all my time outdoors enjoying what is left of this fleeting season.

Seasons are part of why I love Wisconsin so much; there's always something new to look forward to. Spring takes forever to turn into Summer so by the time Summer arrives, I'm in a frenzy to take advantage of all the extra daylight and being outdoors. Watching the daylight hours tick away towards Autumn brings a sense of sadness; there is still so much to do. But the crisp, cool fall weather is a perfect time to go hiking and I enjoy wrapping myself in a warm sweater again. The beginning of Winter is full of anticipation for holidays, family gatherings and glittery white snow, but by February I just can't wait for it to be May again. And so it goes.

We're nearing my favorite month, September, and for me it is always another new beginning. This time of year brings memories of back-to-school time:  new clothes, sharpened pencils, a notebook full of clean paper, lunch boxes and new books. Mornings are cool and dark, bees are active and afternoon skies take on a deeper blue hue as the sun changes its seasonal position. With this in mind, I'm going to attempt to push away the sadness of Summer's end and focus on the excitement of September instead.

Do you have a favorite season?