The first cool morning of late summer happened this morning. It was a “pull up the quilt” morning. A crisp, blue skyed, breezy, great dog walking morning. There were exactly three red maple leaves visible from my deck.
The very first breath of the new season. I stood outside and breathed it deep. Sweet, exhilarating air.
This new season, like all the others before it, reminds of the fact that I am, literally, never satisfied.
Here I stand, reveling in the comfort of long sleeves. “Ah!”, I think to myself. “Cool air is so refreshing!” I really, truly believe this thought as it dances happily through my head. I honestly think, at this moment, that it will feel wonderful to put on mittens, to sit by the wood stove, to come home for nice, hot soup.
I forget, somehow, that on the first warm morning of spring, I stood in this very same spot, thinking “Ah! Warm air is so soothing!” For some inexplicable reason, the first bite of barbecued chicken tastes like ambrosia, and I want to eat grilled foods every day forever. For some mysterious reason, the first sip of hot chicken soup in October tastes like heaven, and I want to eat it every day for the rest of time.
The first day of wearing a sweater balanced against the first day in shorts. Leather boots against flip-flops. Hot coffee, iced coffee.
As each season arrives, I wrap my arms around it and celebrate. Even the first snow storm makes me smile, make a snow angel, and settle in with a mug of enhanced hot cocoa. Its only after a few weeks that I become cynical and bored, and the season loses its charms. I begin to long for what I can’t have.
In summer, I want winter. In winter, I yearn for spring. When the kids are around the house, I long for some quiet time and a clean bathroom. When they are all gone…well, you know what I yearn for then.
And so it seems that I am never satisfied. I never get to the point where every day feels just right. And I wonder, as I think about this situation, whether my dissatisfaction is a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe it would be great to be content for long periods, to enjoy every last day of heat and humidity and barbecue. Or maybe it is a gift to be able to get excited, even after all these years, by a sweep of cool air in midsummer. Maybe it is a gift to be able to enjoy both the crowded dinner table and the quiet breakfast alone.
I don’t know.