Conversation…it sometimes seems like a dying art. I often think it is dying a slow death at the hands of iPhones and tablets and digital streams of communication. Simple human interaction seems as though it is slowly being typed out of existence, two thumbs at a time. In an effort to combat this in our own home, we decided to set aside certain dinner nights as “unplugged”, which means the TV is turned off and no electronic devices are allowed at the table. After a recent unplugged dinner, we hung out at the table and played a game our 8-year-old son loves called “Chat Pack”. In the game, each player draws a card that has a question intended to create conversation and another chosen player has to answer the question. The questions usually generate such interest that we all end up answering each question anyway. As we played that night, out little boy drew, and asked, what is now one of my favorite questions: Name your favorite sight, smell, and sound for each of the four seasons. What a wonderful exercise in conversation; creativity; and memory! I will admit to breaking the rules. For a couple of the seasons, I just could not settle on a single answer, but we all agreed that there are times a tie is an acceptable outcome. Here is what I came up with:
· Spring: The sight of colorful wildflowers; the smell of honeysuckle blooming; and the sound of rain showers in the trees.
· Summer: The sight of ocean waves lapping up on the sand/watching neighborhood kids playing in the streets as the sun sets and the streetlights come on; the salty smell of the ocean; and the sound of ocean waves/the sound of kids playing as darkness falls.
· Fall (my favorite season!): The sight of orange, gold, and read leaves floating down from the trees and blowing across yards and down the streets, driven by a crisp wind; the smell of leaves and fireplaces burning/the smell of apple cider; the sound of wind in the trees as it pulls down the changing leaves and sets them free to dance away.
· Winter: The sight of fresh fallen snow/seeing Christmas lights; the smell of evergreen trees and wreaths/the scent of peppermint; the sound of Christmas music/the absolute quiet stillness that follows a heavy snowfall.
In the perfection of God’s creation, each season brings with it so much to see and smell and hear; and this fun little season did not even touch (see what I did there?) on the sense of taste and the seasonal joys of lemonade; ice cream; apple cider; apple pie; turkey; and peppermint bark! So, next time you are tired of the blazing sun; mowing your lawn; raking the leaves; or shoveling the snow, take just a few minutes and consider your favorite sights, smells, and sounds of the season you are living. Talk about them with the people you love and see what it is they enjoy the most. And if you really want the conversation to take an entertaining turn, ask a child for their favorites. It is amazing what they see, smell, and hear that seems to totally escape the dulled senses of tired, jaded grown-ups. Celebrate the seasons and your senses.