Changing of the Seasons

Changing of the Seasons

I’m an Ohio girl. This means that where I’m from, I get equal parts spring, summer, fall, and winter. Though some Ohioans would claim there’s only Winter and Construction Season, I beg to differ.

All it takes is a little close listening to catch the distinctly inspiring spring breezes, the heady humidity of high summer, the crispness at 6pm of a fall evening, the special chill on a winter morning. They’re all different, and they’re all so important to me.

Being away from home for so long is hard. I live abroad, which is fulfilling and amazing in lots of ways, but there’s a part of me that wishes I could experience every season of Ohio (yes, even WINTER) for the rest of my life.

My September-October trip to the USA allowed me to experience ALL of the most delightful of fall delights — sights and smells and feelings I haven’t had in two years.

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Fall road trip through Wisconsin, on my way to the Midwestern Book Lover’s Convention!

I even came back down to South America armed with pumpkin spice candles! However, it’s a bit of a clash…since coming back down to South America also looks like this:

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The pumpkin spice candles sort of conflict with the very real and emerging Peruvian summer in my midst. I’m not sure my brain can ever be re-trained to recognize October as ‘springtime’. No, I’m sure of it — October will ALWAYS be fall-time, Halloween-time, cripsy-crunchy-leaves and pumpkin-buying time.

The past two Christmases, I celebrated the holidays in Chile. High summer. 70-80 degrees. Not a flake of snow in sight. I actually got sunburnt on Christmas. My family back in Ohio didn’t like hearing that.

Even two + years into the hemisphere and seasonal switch, it’s still weird.  But the process of cracking open my rigid definition of seasonal timelines has allowed me to look at my own personal rhythms. Fall and spring inspire us differently but in very specific ways. Lethargy is more condoned during winter, but summer tends to be go-go-go.

Stirring up these patterns that used to be dictated by a North American atmosphere have been helpful for getting to the meat of my own dedication and motivation. What does my rhythm look like without the lethargy of winter as an excuse, or the prickling excitement of a fresh spring dawn? What is my actual baseline?

Seasons in South America, at least where I’ve lived so far, haven’t been as extreme as in Ohio. I’ve struggled to catch the shades of gray that differentiate these seasons when summer melts into winter with only a bit of drizzle and a ten degree difference. Maybe it’s because I’m not from these other places, and therefore my senses cannot pick up the subtle indicators. Maybe our seasonal appreciation can only ever be allocated to one place — the location of our childhood. Who knows?

At any rate, I’m using the shift in seasons for a variety of reasons. I’m appreciating the slices I get from the USA, and I’m reflecting on what my own personal rhythms are, beyond the traditional arc of North American seasons. And in a writing sense, I’m realizing that my own writing rhythms are up and down — sustained periods of productivity, sudden drops for a month or more, and then a quiet resuming of former productivity.

I suppose that answers for why my last post was so LONG ago! I truly apologize, readers, but it’s just part of this season of Ember Leigh. I was up north enjoying the crispy-crunchy leaves, making pumpkin pies, and reveling in the surprising, clear cold of the October nights.

But now I’m back south — in summer, yes, but more than that, back into the Writing Season. Two works in progress are very near completion, and several other projects are waiting to be started!

As for November, I see a very lovely fall/spring ahead of me!

Tell Ember all about it...

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