Winter was coming.
Each day was shorter and cooler.
Bright yellow autumn leaves sailed down out of the maple trees and carpeted the ground.
A family walked together down a pathway through the trees.
There was a mother
with her newborn child in her arms,
a boy who would soon be an adult,
the father in his middle years
and two elder grandparents.
As they walked, a flight of geese flew overhead, heading south towards the sun.
One of the children said, "I'm cold. I wish it could always be summer."
The group stopped to build a fire to warm themselves.
Grandfather sat and watched the geese disappearing into the distance and then began to tell a story.
"Long ago there were no seasons," he said.
"We all lived every day in a world that never changed.
It never got warmer, it never got colder. Every day was the same as the one before and the one to come.
Our elders decided we should follow the geese to see if they could help us find a place where life would be different.
As we followed them south, we found warm summer days,
with plenty of fresh food and many happy times.
"When we went north we found cold winter days,
little food and many hardships.
Some of the people wanted to go back
to the time when there was no change,
but our elders knew change was good. They had learned from following the geese the importance of seasons.
They knew you could only really enjoy a warm day if you had experienced a cold one."
Grandfather looked at his grandson and said,
"Just like the seasons, life is full of change.
We all go through good times and bad times.
Some people wish every day could bring only happiness.
But remember, it is the few sad days we experience that allow us to appreciate all the happy ones."