Seasons ... (taking the bad with the good)...

By far my favorite time of year, for photography, is the rainy season. Frequent thunderstorms cleanse and refresh the color pallet. From field to forest, green is on display in every imaginable hue. The sky is bluer and the clouds, billowing or feathered, create a dramatic background for landscapes or sunsets. No need to water the plants as everything grows profusely. That of course includes the weeds and other nuisance plants you don’t want in your garden. The abundance of the forest is on the menu at this time of year. Mushrooms are plentiful as are edible bugs and the just plain annoying ones.

As the flora flourishes in the wet, it can be annoying that the clothes take days and days to dry. The humidity is unrelenting and temperatures drop but slightly beneath the overcast skies. Low lying trails become impassable on the bike and the already rough roads are transformed into minefields with massive holes. The truck is never clean for more than a few hours at a time. Feet and paws, are wet and muddy, making it all but impossible to keep floors spotless.

Winter brings the occasionally chilly nights and foggy mornings. In general, the weather is quite pleasant this time of year. With the cool weather, however, comes the burning season and the blue skies are soon replaced by grays and browns. Landscape shots are dull and lifeless with limited visibility and muted colors. The trails are once again passable and exercise is a more pleasant with less perspiration yet more labored breathing due to the smoke. Again there is a tradeoff between cooler temperature and smoke filled air.

The barren fields are now roamed freely by cows and hunted by birds of prey. Our dogs are often spotted far off in the distance. They are drawn to the remaining mounds of straw, playing “king of the mountain” and hunting for mice or anything that moves. They even try their hand at a little cow herding or bird hunting but to little avail. One of our dogs has an obsession with changing his hair color and loves to roll in the ash of recently burned straw. He has also been known to change his scent, with what I suspect to be pig excrement.

Soon enough the stifling heat will return and all greens will fade to brown. As the ground hardens one can ride a bike almost anywhere, with only heat and stamina as limiting factors. With the heat comes the Thai New Year and a more sociable time of year. Scattered family members return home as employers allow for longer holidays. 

Unfortunately, it is also the dying season as road fatalities soar from a deadly mix of alcohol and the revelry of Songkran. The resulting funerals add to the social nature of this time of year, as families gather again, for all the resulting rituals and ceremonies. Almost as a balance to the dying, there seems to be a bounty of weddings and births. The ebb and flow of life in the village, is a reminder of our own mortality and the limited time we have on this planet.

So there is good and bad to be found in the seasons or in life for that matter. Just depends on how you look at things. In reality there is never just one perspective. There are those who are limited in there ability to “see” the world in which they live but that fortunately has no effect on the world at large, only their small place in it.

One reader very kindly commented that he might learn something from reading my blog. My hope would be that readers become more introspective and attuned to their own inner voice that is so often overwhelmed by the din of modernity. Whatever you do, don’t follow another’s path. Blaze your own trail and take pride in your successes and learn from your failures.