Changes

Changes

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

By Blaney Pridgen

A change of seasons is upon us.  With grim realities all about, let us take a rest and consider that.  I say, “a change”, but here in Edgefield County, where we live and move and have our being, nothing really changes in an immediately noticeable way.  Rather, life slowly merges into another lane with no discernable change of direction.  Our seasons are that way.  The changes are blurred in slow motion.

Consider our summer.  She is like the inconsiderate guest who shows up too early and stays too late.  As seasons are numbered by the month, our summer is five to six months long, not three. The high spirits and bright colors of spring quickly fade in our hopeful breasts as we realize what comes next.  Spring does seem too quick as does winter.  For me in our clime they are blinks on the calendar of the heart.  Fall hangs around into the new year; then, we get spring all of a sudden which is like a trailer for the long movie called Summer.

I used to have a handsome cashmere overcoat.  Best as I remember, I wore it three times: twice when I lived in Rock Hill and once on a trip to New York.  The rest of the time I just admired it in the closet with the mothballs.  Believe it or not, I sold it for more than I paid for it, like a classic car carefully stored for many years.  In our South, one ought to wear seersucker until Christmas Eve.

Consider our fall.  If it were not for football and the start of school, we might not note its arrival.  Most years, it feels like fall, somewhere between Halloween and Thanksgiving.  But, however fall shows up, I believe most of us like it the best.  When the fetid air and tropical storms of late summer finally leave, we can breathe, roll down the windows, and actually enjoy an afternoon.  The rich, mellow colors of fall foliage seem to linger in our enjoyment longer than the Lifesaver and lollipop gauds of spring. 

Consider then winter and spring hereabouts.  To me they seem like a dual season four months long, wandering about between mid-January and mid-April.  I call them the bipolar months.  They can’t decide how to be, and while they can’t, I can’t decide.  In this strange four-month, sort-of-season, I find myself in an old sweater mood, neither quite warm nor cold, just drifting along like a white moon in the naked bones of treetops.  In seasons like these months, the ballads Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra sing sound almost profound.

In any part of the south below the foothills of any actual mountains, seasons don’t mean all that much to any one but farmers and serious gardeners.  Well, there’s also the hunters and sports fans, who have their favorite seasons.  But we can go through the motions of changing out our closets and rearranging the chest-of-drawers and hauling down and out various holiday decorations, while all along out the window does not vary to any huge degree.  Other than the scenes on a kitchen calendar, usually somewhere in New England, nothing of any serious notability happens, except when we stop using and start using air-conditioning.  That matters.  All the rest are calendar decorations.  A change of seasons is upon us.  The air conditioner can be turned off for a while.  The screen doors find meaning.  And who knows?  Come February, one might get to wear a vest.

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