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Enjoy the Seasons of the Year
The Beginning of an Adventure
When my oldest daughter was about eight-years old she became obsessed with Christmas. Granted the holidays were always fun, but when a child is talking about what they want for Christmas in the middle of summer, it’s apparent a need to emphasize other seasons was warranted. The fact that Mother Nature has provided us with diversity means we should stop and not only smell the holiday roses, but look at what else can be enjoyed, season by season.
As we work through our days, it may seem impossible to stop and enjoy seasonal tidbits, let alone recognize what aspects are the “tids” and which ones are the “bits.” Reflecting what makes each season unique to us is a great place to begin. Then, an examination of activities that are also associated would thus solidify the process with reminders of how unique each variance can be. Depending on where one resides, one season may be more dramatic or subtle but always hold the potential for meaningfulness.
Fun Fact: The name spring started in the 14th century when new plants started “springing” up from the ground. Fourteenth centurions referred to this as the “springing time.” The 15th century shortened the phrase to “springtime” and by the time the 16th century arrived verbiage was shortened to just spring.
Spring brings many a sense of renewal as trees and plants begin to show new green growth and awaken after a long winter’s nap. Nature’s colors begin to surface more prolifically and even the air smells differently. Declining grey days and increasing sunshine make it natural to want to be outside soaking nature in. During spring there is also a time change when we “spring” forward and lose an hour on one day, but this leads to longer days to accomplish more. Yes, spring brings a whole change in the atmosphere and for scores fresh outlooks.
Consider the following activities.
- Have a picnic in the park or even in the backyard.
- Plant something, anything.
- Enjoy an outdoor activity without the need for a coat and long underwear.
- Go to an outdoor sports game such as baseball or soccer.
- Go to a flea/craft/farmer’s market.
- Cook up a favorite spring dish such as honey glazed ham.
- Learn what other cultures have in holiday celebrations for spring. Holi is the celebration of colors in India. Nowruz is the first day of spring in Iran. Even Songkran the New Years of Thailand. Each has their own celebratory activities and decorations.
- Wash the car, home siding, and porch/patio equipment as a reminder of reawakening.
- Fly a kite.
- Enjoy the sunset from a favorite outdoor location.
- Enjoy spring showers by walking in the rain and jumping in puddles.
- Spring clean inside, allowing the discovery of clothes and objects not seen in awhile due to being packed up for winter.
- Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day.
- Enjoy Easter.
- Got a pet? Take notice of their behavior with spring’s outdoor differences.
Spring has much to offer, so get out there in the blossoming outdoors, soak up the sunshine, and shake off any residual winter cabin fever.
Good Read to Teach the Spirit
In search for a guide on how to enjoy nature's seasons, I happened across the book, Growing Stronger in the Season's of Life, by Charles R. Swindoll. It had not occurred to me that we do actually have seasons where life is concerned. I’m not talking about aging cycles, or stages of growth and development, but how things can ebb and flow throughout a year making us feel off track. I was especially pleased that there are readings assigned to each month which allowed me to work through the book at a meaningful pace providing thought-for the-day perspectives. 2017 threw some crazy crap at me and I found comfort in reading. It was uncanny how the next reading was just what I needed for the day. My negative thinking and lack of optimism would get turned around. I am again working through this book for 2018, especially since I discovered this book back before Thanksgiving and read through it before New Year’s. I want to now enjoy it month by month as intended.
Want to try a twist in enjoying the seasons? This devotional reader provides just that. With 144 readings this book offers a religious flavor to inspire and soothe the soul as one walks through the seasons of life.
Fun Fact: The name summer comes from the Proto-Germanic name sumur, further derived from the proto-Indo-European word sem meaning “half year.”
Summer is often viewed as an easier, carefree time basking in the sunshine. With the warmer weather, there's a preference to participate in “chill out” activities. Options are sought to spend more time outdoors that includes enjoying the fruits and vegetables coming to bloom which in turns emphasizes that carefree feeling. Summer fun is definitely different from the other seasons giving the longest days of the year more time to enjoy.
Let’s take a look at summer’s bucket list.
- Spend a day at a water park.
- Water skis, swim, or have a water balloon fight.
- Sleep outdoors.
- Go hiking.
- Attend an outdoor music festival and/or concert in the park.
- Go to the movies to cool off with indoor air-conditioning or visit a drive-in theatre.
- Run through sprinklers with your shorts and T-shirt on.
- Build sand castles at the beach.
- Cook S’mores on an open camp fire.
- With longer days, take a class at the local parks and recreation center.
- Nap in the afternoon outside.
- Have a block party.
- Catch fire flies.
- Eat lots of ice cream and snow cones.
- Enjoy the 4th of July.
Summer traditionally is a very playful season. Many take vacations as the weather in other locations offer distinctive activities and experiences. Wearing lighter clothing also offers a sense of removed restrictions from the regular routines of life. Summer gives more vitamin D with more time to soak it all in.
Fun Fact: The name fall started with the English referring to the falling of leaves somewhere between the 12th and 16th centuries. The word autumn comes from the 14th century Old French word autompne, meaning to increase. By the 16th century, autompne progressed to autumn. Also, in the 16th century, the word Harvest was used representing when farmed fields reached their peak of production and were ready for food gathering, thus the act of harvesting.
Fall brings a certain crisp chill often felt to be refreshing after about three months of elevated temperatures. Days are often still warmer, but nights cooler until the progression of cool days blending into cool nights. Nature begins to change color again, working towards more golds, reds, fading greens, and orange tones. No other time of the year brings such diverse jewel tones. Days begin to shorten and we are reminded it’s time to start thinking about slowing down and pursuing cold weather activities, finding fun things to do with the more available night times.
Fall’s unique activities
1. Jump into a pile of leaves.
2. Begin to bed down the garden, observing the change in how the dirt smells.
3. Enjoy warm cider, teas, and the smell of cinnamon.
4. Take a sunset walk, reflecting on how the colors of the sunset match the colors of falling leaves.
5. Begin to wear a favorite sweater that’s been packed away for summer.
6. Spread pumpkins everywhere. Learn about all things pumpkin: food, crafts, etc.
7. Enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving.
8. Enjoy a bonfire with friends and family.
9. Go to a local homecoming football game.
10. Light candles scented with the seasons best scents such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
11. Enjoy a movie night curled up with a favorite blanket and popcorn.
12. Take a fall hike to soak in more surroundings of changing foliage and falling leaves.
13. Eat lots of candy corn.
Gloomier days may appear but no other season has two main events such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. Both contain beautiful atmospheric tones and both have very distinctive smells associated with them. Water sources may begin to freeze as a gentle reminder of what’s ahead. Animals begin to behave differently gathering food for hibernation, reminding us to consider the same. Without fall, we may continue to burn the candle at both ends. Fall emphasizes to slow down. Gaze at the stars as nature appears softer while longer nights provide ways to incorporate some self-care time.
Fun Fact: The word winter surfaced around 1300 from the Proto-Germanic word wintruz meaning “wet season.” Later, via other cultures such as Dutch, Old Saxon, and Old High German, the word progressed into winter.
For many, winter feels dreary and foreboding. With major holidays taking place this may also be a time of added stress. Winter, however, offers many special points and should not be enjoyed any less than the other seasons.
1. Enjoy winter sports such as ice skating, skiing, and sledding.
2. Have a snowball fight.
3. Build a snowman from snow or even tumbleweeds.
4. Drink lots of hot chocolate or hot buttered rum.
5. Enjoy the colors of the holidays: red, green, and gold, white, blue.
6. Bake cookies, roast marsh mellows in the fireplace or outside over a fire pit.
7. Go puddle jumping if it rains.
8. Take a moonlit walk and notice how navy blue the sky gets against the sparkle of stars.
9. Catch up on connections with friends and family via Skype, email, or the simple letter writing.
10. Enjoy winter produce such cabbage, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, and pomegranates.
11. See a winter show such as the Nutcracker ballet or an ice skating show at a local rink.
12. Bake cookies and pies.
13. Breathe in cold air and recognize different fragrances such as pine.
14. Drive around to look at the decorations of others, even at Thanksgiving.
15. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Winter provides a time for reflection. Enjoy acting childish again and prepare for fresh starts as the New Year approaches. Work on self-care and taking winter cues to develop special acts of hibernation. Allow winter to become a unique friend and to become a favorite season.
Seasons as a Whole
Fun Fact: The Old French word seison was a verb meaning to sow or plant. Around the 13th century, it morphed into the adjective season meaning seed time and becoming a generalized phrase to discuss which seeding time one was involved.
There truly are so many ways to enjoy each season. Literally, over 100 ideas could have been given for each. Those listed only scratch the surface. It is important to stop and ask what the season(s) mean to you. What activities come to mind for each one? Include foods, smells, sights, and sounds. Literally, Mother Nature is talking if we just stop and listen.
Don’t forget the power of decorating for each season. Spring provides flowers to bring indoors. Summer brings all the colors of a rainbow. Fall offers a variety of golden hues and winter with playful whites and silvers. Try decorating for each season and see what creativity results.
Even when days are busy, surrounding oneself with seasonal reminders will ignite enjoying the current time frame. There are no rules here, no wrong or right. Just do it! Enjoy all that the seasons bring us. Enjoy living life season by season.
What is a Season's Tree?
I came across a pattern to make a fabric tree and the idea of a "season's" tree popped into my head. It took me 2 1/2 months to make on days off and I've had it for 22 years now. My tree doesn’t resemble a Christmas tree which was key. I decorate the tree in a winter theme for January, Valentines in February, St. Patricks in March, and my favorite themes are Halloween, and Thanksgiving. I also got my zany over Christmas daughter involved in helping to make the decorations. Topiary trees work quite well, especially since they come is all shapes and height. My whole family looks forward to whatever tree theme is on the horizon. There is as much tradition in our season’s tree as there is for any holiday. I highly recommend obtaining a season’s tree and any decoration(s) that represents the current season to you will work nicely. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
Great Potential Season's Tree
Crafted with quality and detail in mind this stunning cedar silk tree will brighten up any space. It features 452 meticulously designed leaves each with an authentic texture. This spiral shaped cedar stands 2 ft. tall and sits in a nursery pot. Perfect for a foyer or outdoor covered entrance way this Cedar Spiral tree will add that perfect touch of traditional colonial elegance to any in area in your home.
Favorite Season Poll
Which season is your favorite?
wikiHow.com, How to Enjoy Spring
PsychologyToday.com, 45 Ways to Really Enjoy Summer
BeliefNet.com, Five Reasons to Fall in Love with Autumn
Word Lore, Harvard.edu, Winter
wikiHow.com, How to Enjoy Winter