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Seasons change

Dimarts, 2 de Juny del 2015

Here in Catalonia the season is about to change. After a sometimes sunny, occasionally stormy spring, we are about to enter what is sure to be a long, hot summer.

Here in Catalonia the season is about to change. After a sometimes sunny, occasionally stormy spring, we are about to enter what is sure to be a long, hot summer. And I don’t know about you, but I feel enormously lucky to live not only in a part of the world where the change in season can be so clearly felt, but one where each season is so beautiful, too.

It isn’t quite the same in Britain. The winter is colder, this is true. Sometimes, in the summer (or, more recently, during spring), the British public is treated to a couple of weeks of unseasonably hot weather (a ‘heatwave’, or ‘Indian summer’). But, in general, the weather there has a fixed, rigid cycle: cloudy, then rainy, then sunny - repeat ad nauseam. (And that cycle only lasts for twenty minutes.)

So yes: it is a pleasure to live in a place where each season is distinctive, and, what’s more, is marked by so many festivities and traditions. From the calçots months that begin in winter, to the red and yellow colours of Sant Jordi occurring as spring is in full bloom; to autumn’s promise of the Castanyada and the summer celebrations surrounding Sant Joan. There are many more special days, of course, each of them are intrinsically linked in our perception to the time of year when they take place.

 

“The summer will warm / But the winter will crave what is gone.

The seasons are important for other, deeper reasons, too. Simply, they remind us that in life, change is something inevitable. Change… or lack of change, if you want to get existential. It’s a subject that the group Future Islands explored on one of the greatest pop songs of recent years, and one that has fascinated poets, philosophers, folksingers and artists for hundreds and thousands of years.

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring,” said renowned man of letters George Santayana. What I understand from this quotation is that what is easy or new - or appealing on a surface level - isn’t always the best; instead, life is a cycle and must be appreciated as such. There will be moments that aren’t that great, but to experience lows as well as highs is the human condition, and we would be foolish not not to understand and embrace that. We would also do well to remember some more optimistic words of wisdom from 20th century author and journalist Hal Borland:

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

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