“It troubled me with what I can only describe as the Idea of Autumn. It sounds fantastic to say that one can be enamored of a season, but that is something like what happened; and, as before, the experience was one of intense desire. And one went back to the book, not to gratify the desire (that was impossible – how can one possess Autumn?) but to reawake it.” (Surprised by Joy)
And so it is for me:
With Anna Karenina and the towering trees and frosty air of her vast land in winter;
With the heavy southern heat and a slammed screen door in To Kill a Mockingbird;
With a mid-western spring viewed through an open window as John Ames ponders his own mortality and the wonder of his young son chasing a ball in Gilead.
I don’t have nearly enough time to re-read all these books every year, but I really don’t need to because they have done their work, left their impression, and been joined by countless images from other worlds, other authors, other observant and well-portrayed characters in novels (Jan Karon beautifully paints both scenes and seasons); read-alouds with my boys (Cynthia Rylant takes her beloved characters through snow, mud, and tall green grass!); and memoirs (Sue Hubbell’s A Country Year is a fixture on my night stand).
My enjoyment of every season is heightened by reading about its beauty.
As the squirrels start hiding their acorns, as my canning shelves begin filling up in the furnace room, and as the geese begin practice maneuvers over the pond, I’m wondering:
What books cause you to be “enamored of a season?”
Image credit: Gutenberg.org
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