By Abe Villarreal

All the things that we welcome with each new season are the same things we long to see go away by the end of the season. As the heat of summer leaves us, so do the mosquitos and the monsoon rains. The long days are not long anymore. The trail of ants is shortening. The clouds of yellow butterflies I see where I live have now disappeared.

For weeks we've been complaining. We prayed for rain and then prayed for it to not come all at once. We welcomed the sun and on some days we told each other that it was just too hot outside. That's what people do. We want something, and then when we get it we wonder why it came the way it did and why it stuck around for too long.

And now that the mornings are colder and the nights longer, there will be those of us looking forward to sweater weather, and others will travel with portable heaters. Personally, I like the cold days, and I've been looking forward to not-so-hot days.

Of course, I say that at the beginning of what may look like an early winter. By December, I'll be singing a different tune because that's what people do.

The changing of seasons gives us more reasons to complain and to celebrate. It also provides us with a chance to do things that come with the new season. Little things like putting on that old coat you haven't used for an entire year and finding interesting pocket reminders of what you did or where you visited a few seasons ago. You might change your coffee creamer flavor simply because the weather told you to do it.

For Christmas lovers, it's never too early to start humming familiar jingles or putting out your jolly-looking coffee mugs and dinnerware. The Santa cups and the reindeer placemats are always fun to see.

Even nature can't hold its excitement for the new season. Flowers begin to bloom a little too early, sometimes only to find themselves surprised by an overnight freeze.

Because the days end just after we get home from work, people will come to visit more than they did when the days were longer and there was more to do away from family. You will welcome them and scold them for not visiting often enough, until the end of the season when you'll be asking yourself why they have so much time to be visiting so often.

In a few months, those feelings of newness and oldness will come to a competing climax again. Things will feel old and new at the same time, and maybe that's why people feel out-of-sync or unwell during seasonal changes. Our likes and dislikes are being pulled in both directions and for a brief moment we are both sad about what we are losing and happy about what is coming.

But that only happens for a brief moment because before we know it, we are back at it. In a few months we will be longing for the summer heat, the short-sleeved shirt, and the reasons to be out and about again.

For now, we have to be content in the change that is seasonally forced upon us. So let's find our favorite holiday dishware and pull out our scarfs and jackets. Let's welcome family visits and find old recipes for dishes that are only made at this time of year.

Let's enjoy what comes with newness before we call it oldness and hope for a new kind of newness all over again.

Abe Villarreal writes about life and culture in southern New Mexico. He can be reached at

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