This is my second year in Delaware, and I’m learning to live with the seasons. Having lived most of my life in Puerto Rico and Florida, I’m used to year-long warmth, and the freedom that brings. Farmers markets are held all year long, you can go to the pool or the beach on any weekend you want, and you’re bound to be uncomfortably sweaty regardless of what month it is. It has its advantages, don’t get me wrong, but it also makes the year kinda blend together.
My first year in Delaware was pretty much a blur, what with all the chaos that comes with moving to a new state and starting over once more. This year, however, I’ve been doing my best to be intentional about the season I’m living through. Though we had no real snow to speak of, winter was cold and dreary as you can expect, making even the tiniest sign of spring incredibly welcomed. What a joy it was to see trees come to life, to see the flowers blooming all around! We’d made it through the dark days.
Then the pandemic began and it sorta sent Life into a downward spiral. During the heavy days of the lockdown, it was seeing nature come back to life from its winter slumber that gave me hope. As an essential worker, I still had a semblance of "normalcy" going on, but it was like working in a ghost town. Flowers and green foliage constantly reminded me that in the big picture, this was just a blip, that it would pass, that just like we had made it through winter, we would also make it to the warmth of summer.
Except it was still cold well into May. Combined with the pandemic, the cold mornings well into early May left me needing time outdoors something bad. The moment that the sun started coming out earlier in the morning, and it was warm enough to not need a jacket anymore, I knew summer was here. Some days I'd just face the hot sun and smile, planning how to spend my time outside.
I’m generally not one to be outside in the heat, but this year it’s been essential to my peace and well-being that I spend time outside the house. So I’ve planted my garden again, got clothing to help me be cool and protected while working outside, and now, if I’m off work, chances are I’m in my backyard. I've also rejoiced for the return of farmers markets, and all the local produce they bring. I'm learning to eat more seasonally, truly enjoying the fruits and veggies of summer at their peak deliciousness. Let me tell you, I'm never buying strawberries out of season and from the supermarket again, not after the amazing berries I've had this summer.
Living in eternal warmth had its benefits, but I'm truly enjoying becoming a seasonal person, and the mental and emotional stability it has brought me to live in the moment. My three years in the Midwest were a sort of initiation into seasonality, but I never really embraced it. This time I'm making it an essential part of me. I will enjoy the sun and warmth of summer all I can. I will plant and do yardwork, eat berries and zucchinis, complain about mosquitoes, and play with my family in our little inflatable pool as much as I can because it is summer and I'm here for it.