October is spring time for me and I don’t live in the Southern hemisphere.
I can explain.
I grew up with four seasons. The traditional ones. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. Three months, more or less, of each. Winter was the brutal months. Walking to the bus in the near blizzard conditions made me question my desire for an education. The first few weeks of sledding and tubing and snowman construction got old quickly when the snow melted and pooled around my toes in galoshes. I did not like the cold. I still don’t.
Umpteen moves later we’ve temporarily settled, for the past 15 years, in the Phoenix area. Two seasons exist here: hot and warm.
Because of the southwestern desert heat during the summer months of April through September, I stay inside with air-conditioning keeping me cool and sane. Sure, I venture outdoors in the early morning hours before the sun comes up, and after the sun goes down. When the sun’s visible, I try to avoid being out there. It’s brutal. One hundred ten, one hundred fifteen, and that’s in the shade. I get cabin fever stuck inside so much.
If we had a pool I’d be out there more, but that’s a luxury, even here.
By time the temperatures drop below a hundred and the evenings cool into the seventies I feel like a bear that’s been hibernating all winter. Finally, I get to go outdoors, breathing unprocessed air, walking, biking, gardening, swinging kids at the park, picnicking, hiking, living.
I often and mistakenly call the fall months springtime here. Weird, but that’s how my brain processes finally being able to escape the indoors.
I just spent four hours outdoors overseeding my winter lawn with rye grass seed in my backyard. If I don’t do this the cooler temperatures force the Bermuda grass into hibernation mode and I look out on three hundred square feet of dead looking grass until April. It’s not much fun to play on or lie on, or walk barefoot in. Not to mention the dead stuff gets tracked into the house and makes a mess. So, environmentally irresponsible or no, I scalp the lawn, spread the perennial rye grass seed, layer on the topping mulch or, (gross) steer manure, and then water faithfully three or four times a day for a week or so.
The end result? A lush, living, breathing carpet of green as a foreground to my raised vegetable and flower beds.
While spreading the dirt over the freshly scattered tiny seeds, I thought of all the seeds I’ve planted over the years. Vegetables, flowers, grass. Some grew and some didn’t. Some shot up tiny seedlings and then died off. And some took off and grew into incredible plants with a yield that would do any master gardener proud. I just never know what results to expect.
That’s so much like my life.
I’ve put effort into things I thought would produce happiness and satisfaction. I’ve spent time with people I believed I could help or who needed what I had to offer. The various seeds I’ve planted boggle my mind if I think about it much.
And just like the vegetables, flowers and grass, some of my seeds have done nothing. Some looked promising and then died off. And some became a rich and stunning plant that gave back more than I ever put in.
I’m afraid I might have planted too much meaning and hope among my grass seed today. I get a little antsy when I do that. Putting myself into something scares me every time. Over-investing myself in anything feels particularly risky.
I throw the seed out there. I water, I fertilize and I hope.
Fall is my favorite season, too. I miss it. We don’t have fall in Texas. We have February, and we have summer.