What is there to like about winter?

Three things are the reason we have seasons: the orbit of the earth around the sun; the tilting of the earth on its axis; and the latitude of the earth. Two earthly inhabitants are the beneficiaries of seasons: plants and animals. One sentence sums the symbolism of seasons: they are a testament to the faint outlines of life. Put differently: to understand seasons essentially requires neither wisecracking lessons nor immutable morals. It simply requires a reverence for the natural world.

Here in Botswana, although unbearably hot, summer is the ploughing season; autumn, significantly drier than summer, is a season of feasting on the bounty of the soil; and spring, a prelude to summer, is the season for budding plants. Each of the mentioned seasons seems to be experienced in relation to summer and to have some benefit equal to or larger than that of summer. But they have something else in common: they also seem to have an exasperating liminal time between themselves.

As the first half of 2024 ends, the southern hemisphere’s winter, which is Botswana’s too, is inevitable and we can keep the faith that it will arrive, as it always does. But our winter is decidedly different. While summer and winter are polar opposites, they never follow one another. Winter is the only season that we experience right in the middle of the year, as if to compel us to look back at previous seasons fondly or look forward at prospective seasons hopefully. Hardly any season reminds us of the other seasons. Only winter reminds us of the other seasons. In the clear light of our winter’s short days, its uniqueness in the cycle of time is striking. As the only season with frigid days and long nights, winter appears to have an insufficiency of personal benefit to us. In consequence, it is the least desired. Anecdotally, fretting and fussing about seasons seem to increase exponentially during winter. Small wonder that people tend to want to hasten the passing of winter and in turn hasten the arrival of the other seasons.

Editor's Comment
Stop the children killing madness!

The incident comes on the heels of a similar one where a father murdered his two toddlers in Francistown. As we grapple with the shock and sorrow of this loss, it is essential to address the underlying issues that led to such a horrific outcome.Our hearts go out to the innocent victims, the three boys aged 13, 10, and eight who lost their lives in circumstances that defy comprehension. Their deep cuts and untimely demise have left a scar on the...

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