The cycles of seasons and life continue

OPINION: Winter and summer, day and night, do not cease

These frigid temperatures have me longing for the Deep South!

When I moved up here (north) 43 years ago, I kept hearing people tell me it was the South and technically, in the whole of the United States, it is part of the South. But, the culture and the weather feel like the North compared to the deep South.

Grits and crawfish are not common and chicory coffee is as scarce as fig trees, mayhaws and ribbon-cane syrup. Nobody refers to bodies of water as bayous.

As the temperatures began to rise above freezing the end of this past week and the sun shone brightly melting the white blanket of snow that had covered the area, it began to feel warm. Amazing that a week of single digit temperatures can make the high 20s feel warm.

On Feb. 16, 2021, the temperature before dawn was -14 degrees. I think that's the first time I've ever felt temperatures that cold.

During this recent cold spell, the temperature was -4 degrees with a windchill of -12 degrees.

This week, even though temperatures were in the 30s, freezing rain brought icy conditions to the area, prompting school officials to close schools. Delayed openings were reported by government offices and businesses, allowing time for ice on roadways to melt and, hopefully, people to travel more safely.

It's interesting to note how many negative comments there are on social media. The people responsible for making decisions about closings, whether school, city, county or businesses, face criticism no matter which way they decide. It's a heavy burden they bear for the safety of others.

And, despite not really liking cold temperatures, I must admit I really enjoy the fall colors here in autumn -- something we did not experience much in Louisiana. In fact, I clearly remember some Sunday afternoon drives north into Arkansas to view the vibrant fall colors of leaves on the hardwoods.

As any school child knows from the study of geography, climate is different in different places on the earth.

If one wants somewhere where it is always between 50 to 70 degrees, one has to move to southern California, according to an internet search.

Scripture records: "Thou has made summer and winter." Psalm 74:17 (KJV) and "While the earth remains seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease." Gen. 8:22 (ESV)

The winter will soon be over and it will be spring again.

And, as it does every year, summer follows spring. Fall follows summer. Winter follows fall. And the cycle begins anew.

The yearly cycles continue and we take the bad with the good with the bad. We will find contentment when we learn to be grateful for the good and recognize that the less pleasant circumstances will soon pass.

As more than one person had noted, the "enforced" time of inactivity from being snowed in provided much needed time for rest, reflection and rejuvenation. If we focus on the frustration of being forced to stay home and complain of "cabin fever," we can not only be miserable, but impose our misery on others. Or, we can look for the good side of the situation. Maybe we can have time to read a book we've set aside, or start a new hobby, or just sit and contemplate and be creative.

I'm sure we each can find a positive aspect to even the worse situation.

I am glad I have a roof over my head, a heater that works, warm clothes to wear and the health to enjoy it.

And, as the temperatures rise above freezing and I see the green shoots from the snow drops and daffodils peaking out from beneath the snow, I remember that spring is just around the corner.

Editor's note: Annette Beard is the managing editor of The Times of Northeast Benton County, chosen the best small weekly newspaper in Arkansas for several years. The opinions expressed are those of the author. She can be reached at [email protected].