“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”
As Garth said in Wayne’s World 2: “We fear change.”
So what’s it going to be – fear of change or the embracement thereof?
To take Santayana’s statement (maybe a bit too) literally, I’m a pretty big fan of the changing seasons. I like that I live in a geographic region that has four different seasons. You’ll rarely find me complaining about the weather – yearning for summer in the middle of winter. This may very well be because I’m also a contrarian: when I hear people complain about the cold and say “I can’t wait for the summer”, I usually think in the opposite direction. I accept the winter for what it is – and that it will eventually give way to spring. Those who wish for the summer in the midst of winter are invariably the ones who complain of the heat in the summer.
As I grow older, I find that I’m more aware of the fact that the seasons are not as distinct as I once thought. That the season is changing every day. As winter approaches, I’m aware that the days are getting shorter, and I try to spend some time drinking in the sunlight with my eyes during the day. It’s been around 32 degrees in the morning for the last few days, even though we just tripped over the winter/spring line. I’ve been noticing that the days are getting longer since the solstice. It feels good to be in tune with the world around me.
In a figurative sense, Santayana’s statement is a good reminder to me that change is the only true constant. I am different today that I was yesterday; different now than I was five minutes ago – even though these changes may be imperceptible, they’re still happening. I’m happier when I embrace the flux. It becomes painful to hold on to what was – eventually, if not immediately. That pain comes from the fear of change – fear of the new and different.