The change of seasons, symbolized by this beautiful, evolving Aspen leaf, offers a variety of symbolic messages.
I've never lived in a climate where the seasons don't change, and I'm not sure I'd want to. I'd get bored with the same-old same-old. The same, predictable wardrobe choices all year. The same weather for Independence Day as for Christmas Day.
No matter where you live, you're likely to look forward to at least one seasonal shift. From winter to spring or summer to fall. Or, in Aspen, from fall to winter.
Here, the seasons are even more pronounced. Compared to Atlanta, the summer days nearest the solstice are more than an hour longer. (I can't imagine living in Alaska or somewhere further north with endless daylight at that time of year). Of course, the converse is true in the winter, with not only colder nights, but longer ones as well.
Another big difference (and one of my favorites) in Aspen is the shift in people and population. Some people come here just for the summer. They're here to enjoy the spectacular weather and to participate in the variety of exceptional events, from Ideas Festival to the Music Festival, and a host of other events held every day.
Fall is when it quiets down and the population returns to its average of 6500 or so people. You start to see the same faces and recognize the locals. The panorama shifts from green to gold, the leaves start to drop along with the temperatures.
Winter looms, and not just in the cooler breezes or near-freezing temperatures a thousand or more feet above, ready to drop some snow on the topmost peaks. There's also preparation for the height of the season. Roads are being repaired and construction is accelerated. For many of the local businesses, they're planning to take some needed vacation time before their make-or-break season begins.
Winter brings the tourists, changing the dynamic even more. While I haven't lived here in the winter, I can imagine the median age will decline at an inverse rate to the increase in income and spending. For me, I'm more looking forward to (hopefully) being able to shift my exercise routine from walking to skiing.
And now, some tunes…
My father's favorite song – a nice reminder of the changes of the season…