“To Every Thing There Is a Season”



Young Girl Winter,” said another way — and sung much, much better!

The Byrds recorded “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)” in 1965, from lyrics and music composed by American folk music icon Pete Seeger in 1959. Of course, Seeger pinched the words almost entirely from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Sorry about the pre-roll ad; I don’t control that.

Young Girl Winter


I asked my daughter Kate to tell me her favorite season.

She said, “all of them.”

Forgotten by Adults

For busy grownups, that’s hard to fathom. Most of the time, we grouse perfunctorily about “Old Man Winter.” Sometimes, when the snow falls early and often, or when 50-mile-per-hour winds whip the flakes into a whiteout that shuts down highways, we curse him.

We didn’t once. Remember?

Long before we cursed the winter, we reveled in it — as much as we still find ways to revel in spring, summer, and fall. We weren’t so practical then, so worn down by scraping and shoveling or so worried about the roads. We didn’t have anywhere to be that couldn’t wait. Cold and snow weren’t a nuisance. They simply were winter.

Now we permit ourselves just one day to revel in the white: Christmas. Five inches of snow fell this year on Christmas Eve. No one complained that night. Quite the opposite. It was the whitest Christmas I can remember, and it was glorious.

Remembered by Poets

While we long for the growth of spring, practically worship the warmth of summer, and celebrate the colors of fall, we’re fairly cold to winter’s joys. Fortunately, some of our greatest books sing winter’s songs in harmony with our kids. The writers of these books have remembered what our children haven’t yet forgot.

As one of the characters in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost says:

At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.

“To every thing there is a season.” Shakespeare remembered. Similarly, one of Japan’s greatest haiku masters, Matsuo Basho, pined for a proper winter in 1666:

a winter shower
the pine tree is unhappy and
waiting for snow

Is there a more beautiful winter sight than evergreen branches drooping under snow’s white weight? Is anything more out of place than rain in winter? Basho remembered.

Embraced Again by Learners

I asked my daughter what she likes best about winter. She said, “the snow.”

I asked her what she likes best about the snow. She said, “you can play in it.”

Don’t you get cold? “Not when I am playing.”

Old Man Winter? No, it’s Young Girl Winter — inviting us to play in the snow again.

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