Today is the first official day of summer. It always feels anticlimactic. Our weather has been teasing summer for awhile now. The warmer days arrived earlier breaking up the cooler and often much damper days of spring. It always happens slowly. An unexpected day or two where temperatures climb higher than expected. A gently reminder to hang on because warmer days are coming.
We have four seasons in Maine. Some people say five. They count spring twice. The warmer days of early spring when everything reawakens. And, the much maligned mud season. I only count spring once. Maybe because it’s actually my least least favorite season. The mosquitoes dominate these milder months and as the snow retreats it leaves everything brown and anemic until finally a burst of green improves the palette.
I think our four seasons are a gift. I love them all even if spring comes in last. Since I haven’t ventured out much yet for summer given our current pandemic, below are a few pictures from summer’s past.
What do I love about each season?
Fall brings a welcome crispness and return to routine after the late nights and long weekends of summer. The trees erupt in reds, yellows and orange drawing in tourists and locals alike. Sweaters and long sleeves provide a cozy barrier to the cooler weather.
Winter is usually the season that most people cite as the reason Maine’s not for them. But, not me. There is the silent, contemplative pace in winter. Life slows down. You have time to think. Sure, shoveling back to back snow storms and navigating icy roads is a challenge, but nothing compares to the beauty of the snow covered landscape. Some of most amazing trails I’ve ever hiked have been in those cold, isolated months. I even blogged about winter in my 2018 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Although even I’ll admit that winter probably overstays her welcome by about a month.
Spring may not be my favorite season but there are still moments that I enjoy: seeing the first few buds break through the ground or watching the last of the snow disappear. Snow is beautiful when it first arrives but gets dirty and dreary towards the end. There are some pretty days tucked into the brown of spring. Unfortunately, most of our time is spent in project mode. It’s our working season. Ironically, having to self-isolate gave us plenty of time to get through the to-do list this year. It was even a nice distraction.
Summers in Maine are perfect. Jim Gaffigan has a comedy bit in one of his stand up specials about performing a show in Bangor, Maine in February. I think it was February. It was definitely winter. The punchline is that everyone he meets keeps saying “you have to come back in the summer”; “it’s amazing here in the summer”. I understand the sentiment. Our summers are spectacular.
Summer is the yin to winter’s yang. The pace can feel ironically fast for a season known as having lazy days. It is often frantic and hurried as we try to squeeze everything on our “must do” list into a few short months. It’s a sprint from one perfect moment to the next.
Because each season is so short, we fully appreciate those perfect summer days. We know to savor and enjoy each precious, brief moment. I think that’s the real gift of our seasons.
While things are slowly opening up again, we’re still navigating through this ongoing pandemic so in many ways summer will be a little different this year. But, in others, it will be exactly the same.
What is on your summer fun list this year?