In my suburban New York yard this morning, as we walked past the thermometer on our way to the bus, it read 39 degrees Farenheit. As Ben pointed out, "if it was seven degrees colder, it could SNOW!" Fast forward to meeting the afternoon bus, and it is now 80 degrees in the shade. Welcome, spring.
For as often as I gripe about the bitterness of New York winters, and point out to my husband that his is a global company, and I can write from anywhere (even California, hint, hint), I know that if I were ever to move to the desert or even the south, I would miss the changing of the seasons. In a sadistic sort of way, I like the potential for bizarre variations in temperatures between morning and afternoon, the kind of variations that only come with these seasonal shifts. Winter in the morning, summer in the evening--where else can you get such diversity but in New York?
Of course, my plants are very confused, I'm never really sure when the threat of frost is past, and my kids are layered like onions when they leave for school each day. Jacob actually owns pants that have zippers mid-leg. He leaves in long pants, and returns in shorts at the end of the day. Quite ingenious, actually, and likely invented by a New York mother.
But I think the real reason I love the season changes is my belief in the need to mix things up every now and then. It keeps us from getting into ruts; it keeps things interesting. After months of "here's your hat, here are your mittens," we have, "What's the temperature today?" "Short sleeves or long?" and "Sweatshirt or jacket?" It's Mother Nature's guessing game, and anyone can play. May also makes it more likely that we'll have sun, and one can practically feel the temperature rising on the short walk from the driveway to the bus stop. Seasonal transistions signify the great unknowing, and they always makes me smile.
Sure, we could move somewhere where it's warm all the time, where the sun is almost always guaranteed to shine, and I could get rid of my turtlenecks and wool sweaters. But I would miss the autumn most, when the days begin to shorten, the air turns crisp and clear, and the excitement of a new school year is bursting like spring flower buds. Besides, I'm just getting good enough at throwing snowballs that my kids want me on their team. What California mom can claim that talent?