It’s August already. I can’t believe how quickly this summer has flown past! I’ve only begun to enjoy all of my favorite things about this season—and I do love summer. In fact, I love all four seasons. With only two exceptions, I’ve lived most of my life in places where the four seasons were evenly spaced with three full months to enjoy each one—the cool, daffodil days of spring; the hot, sit-on-the-beach days of summer; the crisp, multicolored-leaves days of fall; and the frigid, snow-filled days of winter.
One of those exceptions was the two years my husband and I spent living in Bogota, Colombia back in the mid-1970s. You would think those would have been hot, steamy days living so close to the Equator. Not so! The city of Bogota perches on a plateau in the Andes Mountains nearly 9,000 feet high. The weather is spring-like year-round, averaging only in the 50s and 60s. A jacket is a daily necessity. So is an umbrella. It rained every single day the entire time we lived there. If we longed for sunshine and warmth, we had to take a bus down a precarious mountain road to the “hot country.” There were trade-offs to being warm; the sunny “hot country” came with lizards and Palmetto bugs on the walls, and snakes as big around as my arm, and spiders the size of saucers. I learned to get used to the rain.
The other exception was the eleven years that our family lived in Canada—first in Thunder Bay, Ontario, then in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I still experienced all four seasons while living there, but they weren’t evenly-divided into three months apiece. We waited forever for spring, and once had a blizzard with three feet of snow on my husband’s birthday, April 15. I brought my daughter home from the hospital after her birth in May, wrapped in layers of blankets and sweaters. Summer was hot and very brief. We learned to harvest our tomatoes by the end of August or risk frost on the first of September. Fall passed swiftly, too. When we finally returned to the U.S., our Canadian-born kids complained that “It just doesn’t feel like Halloween without snow.” Of course, the longest season of all was winter, with typical thermometer readings of 40 below zero. The temperature often stayed below zero for an entire month.
I think that whichever climate we grow up with seems “normal” to us for the rest of our lives. I live in Michigan now, which has a climate very similar to that of the Hudson Valley in New York State where I grew up. Both are orchard-growing regions where the countryside transforms into a ruffle-blossomed paradise in springtime. Is there anything better than a crisp apple picked right off the tree when the fall days begin to cool? Christmas is nearly always a white one. And glorious summer thunderstorms often rumble through in the evenings after a hot, humid summer day.
God promised Noah after the flood that “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Genesis 8:22). I’m so glad He kept that promise!
But right now it’s still summer. And here are some of the things I love most about this season:
Reading thick novels on my front porch swing.
Feeling sand between my toes.
Watermelon and corn on the cob.
Picnics with my family.
Sleeveless blouses and cotton shorts.
Colorful flip flops.
Riding my bicycle to the beach.
Ice cream cones.
Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite things about summer?