I’m under a certain impression – nobody told me this, but I picked it up while I was meeting with the pagans. It goes like this: We worship nature deities, so part of being a good pagan is appreciating nature throughout the year. It seemed that there was always a holiday coming up that the pagans were getting ready to celebrate – Beltane, Samhain, Lammas – I don’t even remember them all. Each of the four seasons had at least one holiday, and there was always something to celebrate.
So now that it’s officially winter, I should be appreciating winter, right? The Solstice (in my temple, also known as the Festival of Ra) was yesterday. And while I can’t deny celebrating that the days are getting longer again in my part of the world, I’m a little iffy on the whole celebrating thing when it comes to winter in general.
See, winter and I haven’t had a good relationship since I moved to Florida. As a kid in Maine, it was easier to love winter: You could make snowmen, and you got days off from school. What’s not to love? Now, as an adult in north Florida, it’s a little different.
Not that I don’t love it here: I do. I love that some trees have leaves year-round (all the trees, if you’re far enough south). I love that you don’t get eye-bleeding colors in fall; I’ve learned to appreciate a subtler set of seasons.
But I’m still not crazy about cold, and it does get cold here. We were out of town when the first freeze of the season hit our little town of Crawfordville, and I worried about our errant cat, Frodo, who’s still off on his adventure.
To listen to my father tell it, I’ve never really liked cold weather. He’s probably right, but for some reason, I just didn’t notice that attitude in my childhood self.
I had had hopes that at least now, after hitting menopause, I might get some benefit from my new condition – maybe it would keep me out of sweaters. No such luck. And the prediction of the one hair stylist that my new favorite season would now be winter (instead of summer) has yet to materialize.
The ancient Egyptians actually had only three seasons: Akhet (inundation), Peret (planting), and Shemu (harvest). Each season was four months long. According to that calendar, today is the 29th day of the first month of Peret. Which is interesting, but doesn’t help me be a good pagan and like winter.
On some level, I do realize that the seasons I don’t like have to be endured to get to the seasons I do like. But that’s all I’ve got right now.
I’m not going to be graded on this, am I?
Is winter your special season or do you have to rationalize your way into enduring it? Please leave your thoughts below.