Summer People, Winter People

By , April 26, 2011

I remember a long time ago there was a trend in personal color analysis. A person’s skin tones were assessed and labeled by season. People started telling each other, “I’m a summer,” or “You’re an autumn.” For all I know, people still describe skin tones in these terms.

The other day, I realized that in many ways, Michelle is a summer, while I am a winter, but it has nothing to do with our coloration, but with our work focus on the homestead.

Recently, we pursued our usual tasks on a typical homestead day. As often happens, we worked separately but near each other, constantly calling for the other one to stop their activities to come and help for a moment. That got me thinking about the general trend of what each of us was doing.

I bucked up a log, chopped the rounds and stacked them in the wood shed. Michelle cleaned up the rain catchment tank in back of the cabin. Thinking about these tasks, I realized that generally speaking, Michelle’s work on the homestead focuses on preparing for the summer, most particularly the garden, while much of my work focuses on preparing for the winter, storing up firewood.

I mentioned this to Michelle, and it turns out she’d been thinking exactly the same thing. We agreed that this works only on the most superficial level. I work in the garden, and on projects that benefit it; Michelle helps with cutting and hauling the wood. Aly pitches in on these tasks and all the others we perform around the homestead. It’s a trend, not a cut and dried division of labor.

One could argue that everything we do, including (or perhaps especially) the gardening prepares us for winter. Most of what makes our summers so busy has to do with getting things done for or before the onset of winter.

Nevertheless, looking at our sometimes conflicting purposes as seasonal sheds a bit of light on it for us, and hopefully a bit of perspective as well.

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