Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.

Stanley Horowitz

The budding and flowering of trees in their wonderful order of yellow, white, pink, and then purple. The humming of bumblebees. The fresh and eager songs of returning birds.

The disappearance of those same bright flowers and the subsequent growth of their leafy replacements. The reddening of the rabbits and the deer; a shivering glimpse of the first snake of the season.

The start of the summer thunderstorms, their bruise-colored clouds looming on the horizon each day as afternoon shades to evening. The silence and stillness before the onslaught of furious rain.

Then the lush green of summer dims, mellows, grows large and golden, heavy with seeds. The spiders emerge overnight to lace windows, shrubs, and branches with their webs.

Geese fly overhead. Squirrels dart from tree to tree. A chill enters the air, a draft creeping into all the nooks and crannies of the house. On misty morning drives, you glimpse the silver flash of deer in the trees.

Cold rain and dropping temperatures. The warm-blooded hunker down to hibernate or huddle together.

Milk and bread runs. The first weak flurries of snow alternate with the whistling wind and the scratching of twigs on the windows.

Silent, sodden days and cold, chattering nights. Christmas lights. Bright flashes of cardinals are the only color aside from pine and cedar and holly.

Then you begin waking to sunrises of pink, sherbet, and butter yellow. They promise that spring is inching closer, day by day, like a shy animal.

And in six weeks, depending on the groundhog, the wheel turns once again…

2 thoughts on “The Turn of the Year

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