When I posted on Facebook that autumn is my favorite season, my nephew in California jokingly replied, “What’s a season?”
As a native Midwesterner, I appreciate all the seasons of the year, for their beauty and variety, for the way they remind us of nature and of the patterns in our lives.
At this time of year, it seems as if there are five seasons – winter, spring, summer, fall and holiday. The winter holidays are observed by many people in the world, each culture finding its own way to commemorate this very special season. In Japan, for example, Christmas is an occasion for fun and frivolity while New Year is a time of family and religious traditions, a mirror opposite to the West.
Poets have celebrated the seasons since ancient times, and I have my own long-time favorites:
Spring – “Im Frühling” (In Springtime) by Eduard Mörike
Summer – “Bed in Summer” by Robert Louis Stevenson
Fall – “Spring and Fall: To a Young Child” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Winter – “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
Christmas – Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1 by William Shakespeare
In this way, the humanities reflect back to us a common experience, yet make us think about its deeper meaning. So we pause and spare a moment to reminisce, to wonder, to wish like a child – and then back to the busy world and the beginning of another year.
This blog is part of a blog series, All Good Things. The series, written by Nancy Conner, will run throughout the year to reflect on topics that have been central to our work at Indiana Humanities.