‘Tis season to embrace change
This time of year, my mood tumbles with the weather. I go from grumpy windstorm to sun-dappled grove of aspen in hours.
Change is in the air. This is exciting and scary, hence my moods. Both beat boredom, though.
The technical marvels of modern life have largely usurped the seasonal dependence of not so long ago. We can eat strawberries any time of the year now. This allows us consistency, but the anticipated ephemeral magic of fresh strawberries and cream on a summer picnic is diminished.
Here we are lucky enough to have very definite seasons. The natural progression through these is comforting to my old animal self. Animals feast in the summer and fall, hoping to survive the bleak empty winters. We fill our blank winter landscape with jobs, adrenaline snow sports, partying and more jobs.
Now an expanse of mud and time looms, a good chance to discover just how happy you are with your own company and reflect on if you worked enough jobs to survive.
The Festival of Words is superbly timed. Mud season can be pleasantly spent buried in a pile of books, still easily the best entertainment value for money. A book gives days of entertainment. Ten bucks buys a couple of hours at a movie and maybe happy hour at a bar.
Every day another sleeping plant bristles awake and helps push away winter’s dirty snow. The speed and power of spring’s rejuvenation in the natural world is breath-taking. Suddenly, the lifeless tree is green with buds, pairs of robins are hopping through the underbrush, and the bustling buzz of insects is everywhere.
Some diehards resist the inevitable change, making pilgrimages to Arapaho Basin, where winter lingers longer. Most are more fatalistic and go with nature’s seasonal flow. Kayaks replace skis on top of cars, mountain bikes get oiled up, and the golf clubs re-emerge.
Variety is the spice of life. Our seasons save us from that year-round rut. It’s hard to keep a job fun. Without change, boredom sets in. Seasonal work has its drawbacks, but it sidesteps this easily. New jobs to relearn, different sets of friends to catch up with, and an off-season to travel, sleep, read, reflect on life, a rejuvenation of oneself. Evolution’s adaptation to change is what creates the very diversity of life on earth. It’s probably worth keeping it going in yourself.
This may be what makes parenthood so fascinating, enjoyable and challenging. Children change faster than a budding tree. There’s no rut in childhood. My dogs gave a small insight into this as they grew up and surprised me with their evolving personalities. Sadly they’re also giving an unwanted lesson in old age, the other side of the coin.
Still, that’s living, I guess. If you’re not changing you’re probably dead.
Alan Braunholtz of Vail writes a weekly column for the Daily.