Never satisfied


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.

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