“See stars in the changing season and dance among them, shining.”
I migrated to Canada in May 1999. I had visited from the Caribbean on many occasions, always in the summertime. I was familiar with the summer weather and wanted to be able to ease into the changing seasons, so I arranged my immigration date for May. Although May is not yet summer, it gave me a small taste of the cooler temperature.
I have always found summer glorious, the warm long sunny days, vibrating with so many possibilities, and the endless thought of ice cream!
- The energy of the various multicultural street festivals around Toronto, the Multicultural capital of the world.
- The ability to hit the road to visit the great lakes around Ontario (Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and if you are adventurous Lake Superior).
- Day and overnight trips to Niagara Falls, wine tasting, picnics by the Falls, visiting the waterparks, a walk down Clifton Hills, popping over to Niagara Falls New York.
- Driving the countryside enjoying the waves lapping on the sandy shores at the beaches of Sand Banks Provincial Parks…. who knew that the lake could mimic the action of the ocean where the waves are crashing the shores
- I live within a 10-minute drive to Lake Ontario and revel in the vista of the lake on summer days with the sun shimmering off the surface of the lake, and often appreciate walking the trails.
Autumn in time
I knew autumn was on its way in when the days become progressively shorter and cooler in the mornings and evenings, then I reluctantly bid goodbye to summer.
- I now embrace the colours of The Fall…who knew that leaves could have such an explosion of vibrant reds, oranges, yellows and browns. I am enamoured by this phenomenon, and I enjoy this every year, I look forward to this (which quite frankly is the best part of the fall for me).
- Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, gathering with friends and family to enjoy our bounty and give thanks to our Creator for life, good food, and Canada.
- In the Fall, on Remembrance Day, Canadians also honour the men and women who serve during times of war so that we can enjoy the peace we experience in Canada.
- Shorter, cooler, windy days, when the fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers are all gone, the trees become bare.
- The time falls back 1 hour, the sun sets after 4 pm, and I brace for the end of the year.
As the days become shorter and I feel the wind chill of Winter, I brace for the cold and the oncoming Christmas which compensates (in my opinion):
- I bundle up and unpack the coats, hats, scarves, heavy clothing and boots required tools for this season. The trees are completely bald, except for the evergreen varieties.
- The air is buzzing with the oncoming Christmas season, the colours of green, and red, the lights, music and food, and merriment. The many Christmas parties, at work, church and the personal celebration with family and friends. I fuse my Caribbean and Canadian Christmas by baking fruit cake, making sorrel, warm apple cider, and shortbread cookies.
- I look forward to the winter solstice, the shortest day in the year and the signal that the days will become progressively longer.
- I usher in the new year with great anticipation and brace for the cold, white-biting winter days. It is quite common to not see your neighbours for months.
- We huddle inside to ride out the cold and thank the Lord for heat and warm clothing.
I knew spring was on the way and look forward with great anticipation, the lighter dates over the past few months have culminated in visibly longer days.
- I hear the birds chirping, the weather is increasingly warmer, the mornings and evenings are incrementally lighter.
- The falling snow has given way to the falling rain, and we embrace the rain as an essential ingredient to the regeneration of the foliage; the beginning of the flowers, fruits and vegetables.
- I am usually excited at the sight of the budding trees, the tulips and daffodils popping out of the ground; opening of the various garden centers.
- The clock springs forward 1 hour, signalling the longer days to come. I start my visits to Lake Ontario (in my backyard).
- I start packing away the heavy winter gear, including comforters; setting up my summer planters. The Lawnmower is exchanged for the snowblower, the all-season tires are installed, and the winter tires are retired; changing the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Life goes on. And the beat goes on!