by Lana

At last, spring has come along, almost. It has been a long wait after this year’s icy and challenging wintry weather conditions.

Spring to me, represents a time when I am more optimistic, in strategic mode and chomping at the bit for new projects and ideas to take me outdoors. I love this time of year as it speaks and points to the promise of rain; returning plants and vegetation; upcoming outdoor adventures and exploration, enjoying walks or runs in parks where brazen ducks, turkeys and other birds approach you for food like you owe them, and toddlers and others are rolling as they are able.

In my effort to compel the return of spring and bring the outdoors in, I purchased a pot of yellow tulips for my kitchen table. I love these delicate flowers and did not realize their effect on me until I was reading an article by Avia Vencia about symbolism and seasons and the effect they can have on mood disorders, perspectives and attitudes. According to the article, spring is a time to think about rebirth; our attitude changes from interior to exterior focus – we look forward to new projects and ideas that may change us.

Summer is not my favorite season. The days are longer and we get to come out and play a longer period of time. The at-times stifling heat, forces me to retreat indoors and I selectively venture out for special occasions like summer festivals; backyard parties (friends, music and food); farmers markets and travel. A few years ago, before I knew better, I visited Disneyland in August, I was miserable. I whined about the heat most of the vacation – took every opportunity to express my discomfort. Not even Mickey and Minnie Mouse could comfort me. If summer is the time of joy, there was none on this trip, no matter how magical a kingdom it was

I experienced a second similar heated adventure, attending a wedding in Las Vegas. This time, I had a plan and worked it. I kept a low profile, stayed indoors most of the day, taking a cab to sites and coming out late at night when it was cooler. It was good people watching and I saved money from shopping. The wedding ceremony was short, it was held outdoors in a red-rock grotto like a setting in a park. The temperature was around one hundred and ten degrees, in the shade. I wondered if that was what meat felt like in the oven as I sat there dressed in black, trying to focus on the beautiful occasion that was taking place? It was a beautiful and short ceremony and the guests, dressed in black, were only too happy to board the air-conditioned bus back to the hotel to escape the punishing heat.

An eternal optimist, I decided to take a seven-day cultural tour to the Caribbean in December, arriving on Christmas Eve Day. The weather was perfect. We drove the majority of Christmas Day to get to our destination. We met the local group and enjoyed a delightful dinner and conversations with our gracious hosts. Classes began the next day, and the groups were divided based on dancer ability (mine was basic minus). The weather was so heavenly that I did not mind the daily morning walk to and from classes and enjoyed time spent exploring Havana. The weather, dance, people and music made up for any shortcomings.

I have heard it said that the third time is the charm and I am so glad that I pressed through two unpleasant heated experiences. My third adventure has made a lasting impact on me – causing a change in my expectations and actual outcomes. I am expanding my options and giving serious consideration to a winter-weather getaway. I have learned a lot about my likes and dislikes as it pertains to the seasons but try and invent a mechanism to enjoy them all.

Casas

Ciudad Havana

Havana Museo