Thursday, February 25, 2010

Seasons

As we brace ourselves for yet another snowstorm tonight and tomorrow, I'm reminded of one of my favorite reasons to be back on the East Coast:  seasons.  We lived in San Francisco for 20+ years before coming to Pittsburgh 2 1/2 years ago and I've often described San Francisco weather thusly:  cloudy, highs in the 60s, low of 50.  The ironic thing was that this was a reliable forecast year round!  There was but one season in San Francisco and while we could see glorious sunshine in April or October, much of the year brought a certain sameness to the skies and the air that got old, at least for me.

As a child of the East Coast (Connecticut), I have fond memories of gigantic snowfalls that had our Flexible Flyers standing at attention and their polar opposite, scorching hot summers that had us running to the sea.  Spring and Fall were sandwiched in between and those seasons had their own special meaning absent the weather extremes.

I consider myself lucky to have landed in Pittsburgh and, specifically, Mt. Lebanon as these are the most defined seasons I've ever seen.  Granted, this winter's snowfall has been one for the ages but all three of our winters here have been marked by bouts of snow and cold and I like that.  The chance to break out the coats and scarves and observe Mother Nature in hibernation invites me to slow down as well and stay close to home with friends and family.  Winter marches inexorably toward Spring and suddenly, the air softens and trees start to bloom.  To say that Springtime in Mt. Lebanon is lovely is an understatement:  we are blessed with an abundance of trees and flowering plants that make nature's reawakening a dazzler.

As Spring turns into Summer, we have pool parties, block parties and countless opportunities to sit on the deck under a canopy of trees, cool drink in hand.  It's great to see neighbors outside late into the night, shooting the breeze as a breeze softly wafts by.  Sure, these interludes are punctuated by frequent thundershowers but hey, it's a cheap way to keep the streets (cars, windows) clean!

And then Summer turns to Fall, my favorite season of all.  I've always had a fondness for the riot of color that is borne of decaying leaves.  Oaks and maples lead the way and it's not long before we're crunching leaves under our feet and raking them into massive piles.  Once I feel that nip in the air, I know it won't be long before the holiday season is upon us with its many opportunities to be thankful.

The rhythm of the seasons calls to mind the continuum of life and my place in it.  It's a wake-up call I embrace.

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