For some reason, I am just now tuning in to the subtle changes of the seasons, and it feels really good. I'm guessing my inability to truly connect with the changing of the seasons stems from the fact that I spent the first 12 developmental years of my life in a city with no seasons: San Diego.
And then almost another 12 in a state with no seasons: Florida.
And Houston didn't really have seasons either.
But in Austin, I can truly see the changes of the season, and it's so fun to tune into the changes--to really notice, appreciate, and take joy in them.
In the winter, most of the trees around our house lose their leaves. It means I can easily see the cardinals and the blue jays. Their blues and reds pop against the gray forest.
The shift to Spring is so subtle. It doesn't happen in the sky or really in the temperature. It happens ever so slightly in the trees. From afar, they will look gray. But up close, you will see the slightest hint of green. The tiniest fig leaf appears, bursting with energy and promise.
The entire East Austin landscape shifts from gray to a brilliant green in a matter of a week. Each shift in the season nudges me to reminisce about what was happening at this time last year and about what the season ahead holds for our family.
I think about our boys coming home from school every single day, stripping off their clothes, and heading straight into the backyard to swim. I think about our chaise lounge chairs under our umbrella. One of my favorite things in the world is a shady spot on an otherwise brilliantly sunny and clear day. I think about the watermelon plants that will overtake our front yard, the little hidden watermelons that will appear under thick leaf coverage that our children will spot and rejoice in discovering.
These small things bring such great joy to my life.
When I used to read Soule Mama, I would be envious of her family's deep connection to the seasons. Now, I think I have created just the right amount for me and my family. I actually don't want to run an entire farm or live somewhere cold. But if I tune in and pay attention, I can create my own connection to nature and to the seasons right where I am.