A letter to my seasons

Ellie McDowell

More stories from Ellie McDowell

It takes a village
April 19, 2023

A picture of my best friend, Ella, and I. We were waiting for the cars to clear out of the parking lot so we could head home.

The seasons in Michigan are unpredictable. One day it could be sunny, and the next there is hail pelting you.

Friendships are like that too, unpredictable. They can be beautiful one day, and the next it’s a mess of rain and sleet.

I have seasonal friends. They come and go with the wind, and I’m never positive who is going to be there next.

Dear winter,

You were the one I loved at the beginning.

You were a beautiful and welcoming change from what Autumn had become. Each day was different, just like each snowflake.

There are still days I miss you. When it gets too hot outside, I find myself longing for those winter days. With you came the blizzards. I wasn’t ready for them, and I couldn’t have possibly prepared myself. I quickly found myself swept up in your snow and wind, and eventually, I wasn’t sure when the white wall was going to melt into something beautiful.

You disappeared unexpectedly. Overnight, your snow melted away, and I was left with the beautiful colors of spring. You disappeared unexpectedly, but in the end, I knew it was time.

As you were melting, there was a mess of mud left in your wake. It’s been cleaned up now, and I find myself hoping that I get to see your beautifully unique flakes again someday.

Dear summer,

You were the one I never wanted to end.

You meant freedom; you meant a moment to breathe.

Sure, there were days your sun was a little too bright, but sometimes that light was something I needed.

Your sun was warm. It brought smiles to my otherwise melancholy face. The problem is, I’m allergic to sunscreen. I got burned. I saw the burns coming, and I knew I should go inside to protect myself, but I couldn’t help but take in the sunlight.

When I got burned, it hurt. Since then I’ve started to heal, but my skin still feels warm to the touch. I got caught up in the beauty and forgot that burns take a long time to heal.

Dear autumn,

You blew away too quickly.

You brought pretty colors and football games. You brought Halloween and my birthday. You were my favorite season, and you will always be one of my fondest memories.

I’ve always loved you, autumn, because you meant new beginnings. With you came a new chance to rebuild myself. The first day of school and my birthday meant new responsibilities and a chance to reinvent who I wanted to be. Autumn, you helped me do that. Since we met, I have grown into someone who has started to see her worth.

The thing with autumn is that it always ends too quickly. The beautiful colors fall to the ground and die and decay, and suddenly it’s not quite as pretty. You didn’t go out like a bang, but more like a whisper. I didn’t know that the final brilliantly colored leaf to blow past my window would be the last.

From the flowers in the summer to the green grass peeking out from under the snow to the beautiful colors in autumn—I am always reminded of you.

Dear spring,

You are the one that is beautiful; the one that brings pure joy everywhere you go.

There are reminders of you in every season. From the flowers in the summer to the green grass peeking out from under the snow to the beautiful colors in autumn—I am always reminded of you.

The tears that roll down my face as I write this are not those of a friendship since lost, but those of a friendship I know I will have forever. The day I lose you is the day that color fades away entirely.

Your warmth and sunshine are a cure to any disease. You helped me learn how to abandon sadness and fear. You taught me that I am the best person I can ever be.

I love you, spring, and I always will.