As I reflect on summer I hear the start-up of a lawnmower, the distinct double pop of a John Deere A, the metal creeeek of a windmill, the clanks of hog feeder lids, the stupid moo of cows, the brush of air under a blackbird swarm, the hum of an electric fence, the sharp pow of a rifle, the crack of a baseball well hit, distant circular saws and hammers, waves lapping on shore, the snap and whiz of a beach fire, shoes on gravel, rattling cottonwood leaves, and swaying oat fields.
I feel the sunburn, blisters, and muscle ache of good hard work – shoveling, chopping, plowing, planting, pumping, weeding, hauling, scraping, painting – and the crisp comfort of bed sheets and air conditioning at night.
I see green and blue, long distances, anachronistic barns, straight furrows, dead coons, mulberry stains, rusted little combines in the trees, muscle cars, girls with something going on, clueless but intrigued guys, and clouds of bugs around street lights.
Summer means chislic, charcoal, diesel fumes, bug repellent, iced tea, sweat, saw dust, melons, sweet corn, flies, and the smell of approaching thunderstorms.
Winters hold unique glory. Snowfalls blanket all, from dirt clod to cedar top, with virginal white. Blizzards roar with the fury of God. Life finds refuge. Walking onto a roof, digging the kids a tunnel, busting through a drift with the truck, riding a horse over snow-covered pasture, sledding, skating, skiing, jack rabbit hunting, wood fires, cider, chili, eggnog – all are experiences not to be missed.
Winter has meant basketball games, with the squeak of tennis shoes on waxed floors; school colors, cheers, and a fight song which (remarkably, now that I think about it) I never did learn; popcorn, clocks, buzzer, referees, cheerleaders, opponents, opportunity to be hero or heel or both; and, ultimately, an escape from everything else out there, outside the cinder-block gymnasium walls, out in the cold, cold white, at least for a couple hours.
Winter is also when the birth of Christ is observed by many in our culture. It is hard to improve on the sound of snow crunching under foot while walking with family to a late night church service on a frigid, frigid Christmas Eve.
Ultimately, I can not answer this way or that this question of seasonal preference. I’m reminded of Job’s reply to his wife, who would appraise and accept or repudiate what providence allows: “What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”
I would say the same concerning seasons of life, as I see the leaves falling and frost approaching. For the called, God causes all things to work together for good. Shall I call any evil? Is God author of any evil? Is there anywhere where we should not see the hand of God? Does He not do all things well?