six seasons instead of four

November 9, 2019
One sort of optional thing you might do is to realize that there are six seasons instead of four. The poetry of four seasons is all wrong for this part of the planet, and this may explain why we are so depressed so much of the time. I mean, spring doesn't feel like spring a lot of the time, and November is all wrong for autumn, and so on.

Here is the truth about the seasons: Spring is May and June. What could be springier than May and June? Summer is July and August. Really hot, right? Autumn is September and October. See the pumpkins? Smell those burning leaves? Next comes the season called Locking. November and December aren't winter. They're Locking. Next comes winter, January and February. Boy! Are they ever cold!

What comes next? Not spring. 'Unlocking' comes next. What else could cruel March and only slightly less cruel April be? March and April are not spring. They're Unlocking.

Kurt Vonnegut, 1978 commencement address at Fredonia State
Been thinking about this off-and-on ever since I saw it a week ago in kottke (who says Vermonters name for Locking is "Stick Season", after the foliage has gone, and Unlocking is "Mud Season", the byproduct of all that snow melt...) What a beautiful idea - Vonnegut was talking about Upstate NY but it applies to so much of the Northeast, where I've pretty much always lived...

One of the things I love about this is that it lines up the Seasons with the Calendar year! I've been doing stuff like "One Second Every Day" seasonally, and it irks me that Winter is December, January, February and so straddles the year boundary. (I always prefer the meteorological season reckoning to the overly-cerebral astronomical pattern...)