Written September 6th, 2006; revised September 25th, 2009.

There is something untouchably sacred about winter. The snow piled against the doors and windows, holing you in, and a warmth at the center of what is Home. A fireplace, or a steaming mug of cocoa, or candles and incense. A good sound in the ear, be it a familiar and well-loved movie, or pleasant music, or a loved one's voice. Being enclosed by the wild world outside, and being able to step outside and touch it, feel the wind whip ice against your cheek, smile and wince simultaneously - but being able to retreat into a warm, safe, secluded haven. Time stops when the sun goes down beyond snowclouds, and the night is forever - and you have time to dig, nestle more securely into your own fur and skin, reach out and touch what is icy cold. Time to write, and dream - time to live, and time to rest.

Spring is explosion, winter-into-summer. Spring is green things and colorful things, uncoiling and slithering towards the sun with tiny leaves and even tinier buds. The rich, almost pungent scent of flowers and thawing sap and moist earth - scent of rain, icy then refreshingly cool, scent of the winds that still nip with winter's fangs. Spring is life, is birth, is rebirth continual and endless - spring is reawakened curiosity and mobility, as snow melts and feeds the streams, as the animals emerge from their hidey-holes and look around with renewed wonder at the world unfurling around them. Tentative steps, remembering old dances and old trails, and joyful song.

Summer is boundless freedom and no cage that fits properly, no snow-banked doors and windows, no cold rains, nothing but brilliant light and wind stolen from the sea. Summer is sloping meadows and sunlight dappling through green leaves, everything brown-green-blue. Time to hunt that which feeds, stalk it in the cloudy heat and patchy shadows, then retreat to a shaded overhang to doze, sated. Summer is the ability to move as much as you want and need, no chains, no ties - all physical exertion, sweat and shedding, thirst and heat. Pushing the body to the limits it was made to meet and exceed, and smile for the burn of exhaustion in aching muscles.

Fall is death. The winding, slow, meandering death of a stream that dries out amongst the rocks - the withering death of a green leaf turning brown and cracked. Fall is the dark rain that falls as night lengthens but does not yet bring the white relief of snow - fall is the cold wind that drives the rain to rattle the roof and windowpanes. Fall brings the ghosts. Fall spits the rain in the eyes, a warning to hole up and prepare for winter, making sodden all the fallen leaves and the mulch, darkening the rocks. Fall warns, and if you don't listen, fall rips your throat out with the first snows and lets your blood be a decoration on the virgin whiteness. Fall warns, but if you listen, you watch from those windows as the rain sheets down and floods the world, soon to ice over.

Content © Being Lion, 2005-2014. Header photo © Jonathan Danker. Design courtesy of Selfwright Designs.