I’m coming up on the end of my fourth year in Cambridge, MA and my fifth in New England. Over the course of this season– which has accounted for the majority of my adult life– I’ve become acquainted with the brisk Boston pace, dramatic weather patterns, brazen pedestrians, cobblestone sidewalks, and why scarves and earmuffs are necessary for survival.
Slogging through nearly six months of cold– 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below– I’ve seen my hands crack, my cheeks sting and a far paler spectrum of skin tones. I’ve stopped counting the number of times I’ve slipped on black ice. In the summers I have been confounded by New Englanders who deny themselves air conditioning, and have bemoaned the humidity that inhibits cooling off at night. I’ve murdered many a cockroach, mostly with fearful fascination, and listened to the burgeoning excitement of insects emerging from the riverbed. And most wonderful of all, I’ve enjoyed the timidity of spring and the boldness of fall, when flowers open and leaves grow warm with color. No matter how hot the summer or how cold the winter, we know that change is coming.
Each season has cast a different light on Harvard: it makes us outgoing, it makes us hopeful, it makes us insolent, and it makes us bitter. It makes us gather together and also retreat to solitude. Thanksgiving and Christmas are warmer and brighter, while Easter promises more glorious sunshine and abundant life. I’m going to miss New England. I’m going to miss the reminder of how seasons rotate in contentment and hardship, high and low, joy and grief. It has taught me just how much of what we do is temporary, and how to cherish the present season for all its glory.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.