Prompt: Praise Song by Barbara Crooker

My time in Bowling Green, Ohio broadened my attention to nature. We had the seasonal weather that inspired many folks outside of Southern California to adjust their wardrobes, driving, and daily activities. The crunching of freshly fallen snow and beds of snow with an icy shell are the fondest memories that I have of the seasons. Growing up in Southern California we had to drive to the snow, but in Northwest Ohio, the snow arrived at your front door. The Hawk—the stiff current of frozen air—was a staple of autumn and winter. The leaves turned calming shades of orange, yellow, and brown; whereas, the concerts of the crickets, chiggers, and cicadas were postponed until the advent of summer.

I miss this rich and bold changing of the seasons that I experienced during my time in Bowling Green. However, I do not miss having to layer my clothing, scraping ice off the windshield of my car, or ignoring the pain in my butt on those rare occasions that I fell after failing to observe the stealthy sheets of black ice. Most of all, I do not miss attending classes, writing papers, and sacrificing so much of my ‘20s for my pursuit of intellectual adventures.

In those starkly quiet moments, I often wondered whether it was all worth it. Then I remember that how I feel in those moments will change. The leaves on trees wither, fall, and are then swept away before budding on the branches and vines once again. Reflections on what is and could have been are as natural as the very nature in which we reside.