Flower Smiles

One of the attractions to BC life in comparison to life in Ontario, is the stark difference in our seasons. In Toronto specifically, the ongoing joke is there are two seasons: winter and construction. Not far from the truth but that aside, most of Ontario enjoys four distinct seasons although their arrival may vary from year to year. We have the same distinct flow of seasons here in British Columbia too but our springs arrive earlier and our winters generally are gentler. For example, today here in Vancouver it’s 8°C while back in Toronto it’s -3°C (brrrrr).

I know for me, I would have difficulty living in an area that didn’t experience all four seasons. I love each one for different reasons and would be sad to miss any one of them. In Canada our seasons vary widely depending on what area of the country you’re in; people sometimes forget our country is second only to Russia in land mass and with that geographical diversity comes climate diversity too.

What the seasons mean to me…

Where I’ve lived, summer brings the lazy days it’s so well known for, drinks on patios, late nights spent stargazing. American poet William Carlos Williams wisely said, “in summer, the song sings itself” and I couldn’t agree more. Autumn in Ontario is ablaze with colour; the air has a different, crisp smell and you watch as people begin the ritual of cozying up in bulkier knits and puffier jackets.  

Last year, John and I experienced a very different summer and autumn as we packed our home, drove across country then faced the extraordinary conditions of the area we had just moved to. I’m hopeful for a more ‘relaxed’ summer and fall this year (fingers crossed).

Winter gives us our days to look inward, figuratively and literally; for those who love cold-weather sports, this is the most glorious season of all. I’m not one of them but there are few things I love more than to have a fire going in the fireplace, a good book and maybe a glass of wine or two while watching snow gently fall and accumulate outside.

Across the ground, flower smiles

Then there’s spring. Oh spring. The season which more than any other, symbolizes hope, new beginnings and growth. We should all be a bit more like spring. As the last of the dirty, slushy snow melts we move ever closer to longer days, warmer temperatures and flowers. Flowers everywhere; in pots and in gardens. In beautifully composed bundles at farmers’ markets and in tiny bouquets held tight in dirty little hands, filled with dandelions and buttercups that children pluck with excited love for their parents.

The earth laughs in flowers

Ralph Waldo Emerson

While in Vancouver I happened upon a row of houses all boasting these lovely tiny purple blooms. I don’t know flowers well enough to know if these are crocus or not but I do know them enough to know they made me smile. Flower smiles. I’m writing this in the airport waiting for my flight back home to Kelowna; I don’t know if flowers are peaking through waiting for me there but I know even if they’re not there today, they will be there soon. Some of them I planted last year, and the rest will be gifts planted by the woman who previously lived in our home. What a beautiful gift. And what a lucky woman I am to receive it.

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