Can summer really be over?

For a brief period each fall, we see the leaves. On the drive to work, school and town, we pass hundreds of trees wearing their most colorful clothes. The range of colors and varieties is infinite.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to collect the leaves before they turn brown and spread them about the house on walls and in vases to light the long, dark winter months?

Yes, winter is coming. This year it has felt like summer would never end. Summer weather went well into early November.

On Sunday when we saw a light sprinkle of rain outside, it puzzled me as to why I felt cold. I’d come outside as usual without a sweater or jacket. So accustomed have I become to sunny, warm weather that I didn’t realize the need for any kind of wrap. “What is wrong?,” I thought.

Well, nothing is wrong. It’s almost Thanksgiving, and we are experiencing our first cool weather in more than six months.

olivia6-25 Page 4A.inddAnd some people say there’s no such thing as global warming. I’ve thought about this and decided, with no data to support this theory, that all the people who deny the existence of global warming spend their lives indoors with central air conditioning. They leave their cool and comfortable homes and offices and travel in their air-conditioned cars to other air-conditioned places.

There can be no other explanation, at least in my mind. I have to ask if they’ve ever been in a hayfield in summer, loading bales of hay onto a truck bed.

Have they ever walked the rows of a field of corn and pulled ears from the stalk? Have they ever plowed? Have they ever stood outside in the rain and offered up a prayer of thanksgiving when the parched earth soaks up the life-sustaining water?

I think not. For whatever reason, some people insist on denying as truth anything that disturbs their view of the world.

Even if you don’t think global warming is real, it would be difficult to deny that we had an extremely hot, dry summer that lasted for about six months. We’re all ready for the heat to end.

This year’s summer season bore a striking resemblance to the presidential campaign. Hot, dry with no relief in sight. Finally, it has ended. We may not be happy with the outcome, but we can feel enormous relief that it is over.

Winter is approaching. There are good things about winter, and other things that make us shake in our boots.

On the plus side, we can stay warm, and it isn’t nearly as much work as it used to be.

There aren’t many of us left who rely solely on wood to heat our homes.

Now we take so for granted every convenience that adds to our physical comfort we don’t often pause to notice.

One of the best things about winter is coming into the house after being outside in the cold and sitting beside the gas logs to warm my bones.

Every season that comes our way has its own special qualities. Eventually the rain will come. And when it does, I’ll listen to it fall upon the roof and imagine the azaleas sucking it up through their roots, getting ready for the spring.