What is your favourite time of year? Is it Spring with its new growth, unexpected sunny days and hope of a good summer? Is it summer, a summer which seems to have never-ending long summer days (just like this year)? Is it Autumn when the leaves turn colour and fall to rustle under our feet and the evenings darken earlier every day? Or is it winter when the weather can do what it says on the tin, when we can sit comfortably by the fire as the rain hammers against the window and unexpectedly warm days are a treat that surprise us?
Today, 7th October, had a light frost this morning. There was fog on the horizon yet the sky was clear above it. Plants in the garden were frozen and I guess my dahlias will soon be burnt away. A dandelion seedhead wasn’t blowing away, it was frozen. But within a few short hours, the sun had emerged into a beautiful autumnal day. It’s hard to believe that in a few weeks, it will be dark by 6pm and earlier.
Irish Poem about Winter from The Guesting of Athirne
In the black season of deep winter
a storm of waves is roused
along the expanse of the world.
Sad are the birds of every meadow-plain
(except the ravens that feed on crimson blood)
at the clamour of fierce winter;
it is rough, black, dark, misty.
Dogs are vicious in cracking bones;
the iron pot is put on the fire
after the dark black day.
This poem makes winter sound harsh doesn’t it? A survival of the fittest against winter’s tough regime, no sympathy spared for the weak. I have to admit that there’s so much I enjoy about winter – the exhilaration of a walk on a cold day, wrapping up warm in boots and coat, reading a book by a fire, playing board games, even watching the winter TV schedules with dramas such as Downton Abbey make me celebrate the darker days.
Whether we love it or hate it, winter is on its way. We’ve had a fabulous summer here in Ireland. With memories of the wet and miserable summer in 2012, we consider ourselves to be very lucky to have enjoyed two good summers in a row. As the evening draw in, it’s time to start those evening classes, take up the knitting again, start the blockbuster novel and enjoy the benefits of winter.
What is your favourite season?