What if...

Did you ever notice that almost as soon as the summer equinox has passed, there is a vague hint of autumn in the air? It can be hot as blue blazes, but there's still that something... I wonder if it's some sort of primitive consciousness that alerts us to the fact that the seasons are about to change?

Maybe it doesn't happen to everyone, but every year about this time I begin to feel an urgency to get ready for cold weather. I want to put up food, make sure the blankets and quilts are ready, sort through sweaters and coats and just make sure I'm ready for cold weather.

Which is kind of silly, all things considered. I have central heat and very likely won't get so cold that I have to pile on all the blankets I own. There is a grocery store within walking distance, so even if it snows to where I don't want to drive, I can get to food. I know how many sweaters and coats I have and what kind of condition they're in (it hasn't been that long since winter!)

But there's that niggling thought: What if something happens and my furnace won't work, or the gas lines get shut off? What if there's an enormous blizzard and the grocery stores don't get food shipments for days... weeks? What if... what if. But that's what preparation is all about. What if.

If I were truly living in the country, the "what if" part of life would play an even greater role. Preparing for the next season is the name of the game and we humans are good at playing it.

Or at least we used to be. It seems like many of us don't know there's a game on, much less how to play it.

Insulated in our warm houses and our warm offices, we go out only to walk to the car (for those who are deprived enough to not have an attached garage) or to shovel snow (if you don't pay someone else to do it).

Every kind of food we could desire is available year 'round.

Preparing for the next season sometimes does seem like just a game and nothing serious at all. But... what if.... 

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