Changing of the seasons
As the summer, what little we got that qualifies as summer, winds down and we approach the winter season, I watch the inevitable changes with particular interest. The first tinges of autumnal colour in the leaves presage the inevitable snows, but not before the plethora of roadside farmers’ markets’ bounty pop up like mushrooms as the summer rains. Pumpkins, tomatoes, berries, potatoes, apples and preserves in makeshift stalls, displaying a local, yet exotic mix of of Maritime rural fair. Like magnets they pull me into their orbits and bid me to stop as I wend my way home, so often taking a longer, less direct route home. It is in my mind the perfect time of year, the perfect season, the season most blessed and I revel each and every year in its advent. The biting cold is not yet here and the summer swelter is just a memory and the spiders feast on what was a burgeoning insect population, getting ready for the seasonal slumber of winter.
Its not the blister of summer heat nor the frigid crack of winter that snares my keenest interests. Rather it is the twilight of the seasons that I find most compelling, especially the waning summer months and the eerie beauty of the autumn. And while I revel in the cool nights and toasty days, my affection also extends to the Maritime bluster and storms that churn the ocean waters and strip the browning leaves from the trees in prelude to the winter snows.
As I ruminate about the changing seasons, I can’t help but wonder whether it was always thus. Was the autumn of my childhood and youth as protracted as it is today and did it linger into the days of September and October the way it seems to me today? It is the curse of, if not a faulty memory, then of a memory subject to influence of time and wistful wishes.
It seems to me when I was young time never flowed in the torrent I experience now. Today the days are as short as thunderclaps and I wonder how it was possible that a summer day could hold all the wonders it did when I was young. I know the statistics tell me of the changes to the climate and that seasons are indeed becoming longer and are measurably so, but I suspect the changes are too subtle for my ken, making me rely statistics and the studies of others.
As I look over the science of climate change, a science no different from the science of my cardiologist or my auto mechanics, I wonder why it is such a hard sell and why we as a species do no believe we have to mend our ways to avert a catastrophe, when we have so much information on it. I know that in terms of even a long human lifetime and given the volatility of memory, an analysis of paleoclimate and climate change is not in the cards for any of us from a personal perspective, but surely we must be consistent and trust the science that has allowed us to create the mess we are in and believe its results.
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