Love is a season. I never thought about it that way before. As with all good things worthy of discovery, this moment came tripping into my mind unannounced.
It was deep in the darkness of a night unsettled, when I knew tossing and turning would be a waste of time. I would have to put up with my tiredness the next day.
It was cold, yet turning on the heat in our home would be unjustifiable on this 15th day of September. An electric blanket could have served well, but I was too lazy to go digging for it in our attic. A double pair of socks and allowing our dogs, Ricky and Lucy, to snuggle with us a little longer would have to do.
As such night-dreaming goes, my mind ran the gamut of silly thoughts and the ramblings of an old-too-soon grumpy man who ached from doing very little all day.
The primary focus of my thoughts was the close of summer. Early in the day, I had noted all the changes that the cycle of hot, cold, warm temperatures were bringing to the plants in my yard. Small yellow leaves dotted the hill, while patches of pink begonia petals littered the deck.
The goldfish in our pond moved much slower that morning. They normally splash about upon my approach, eagerly awaiting their breakfast flakes of food. The water must have been cold, sending them the first signs that hibernation time is near.
As I lay there in bed, I recounted the highlights of the spring and summer growing seasons without much disappointment at all. We ended up light on some of the vegetables but heavy on the flowers. That's just fine with me.
It was an incredible season. From planning to planting to nurturing, we had accomplished so much. The miracle of the seed and the joy and beauty within it still take my breath away.
How could so much come from such a tiny beginning?
That's when it hit me.
"Love is a season," I heard in my half-stirred mind.
The idea sparked an entire conversation, jumping back and forth within the limits that middle-of-the-night thinking permits.
"Love is a season."
Now, as I turned toward my left, I understood.
There, lying next to me was my partner in life. Together we planted a seed that blossomed into a most magnificent garden. I know when the season began and believe in my heart there will never be an end to it. Still, I wondered where we were at this very moment. Is there plenty of time to plant, or is harvest time nearer than we would like it to be?
Then I remembered the two pepper plants I saw that day. One in my garden and the other potted just outside my door. The yield from each was wonderful this year. One provided long sweet peppers, and the other closer to the house burst throughout the summer with small round hot peppers. A perfect blend for some fresh salsa whenever we wanted it.
I had picked both plants clean, and their growing season was over. Or so I thought. I had discovered that day that several new blossoms appeared. In fact, a few new peppers had already begun to grow.
I didn't know there were two seasons. Perhaps that explains our love.
On Sunday, September 16th my wife and I celebrated 18 years of marriage. If love is a season, then we must be blossoming again for the second time.
She is the sweet pepper, and I am still hot for her.
Love is a season. Or maybe two.