When I was an adolescent, I obsessively read and reread Color Me Beautiful. It's a book about fashion that groups people into four color palettes for clothing and make-up based on skin tones. I was attracted to the creative categorization and the way it helped me enhance my appearance (especially as a young, self conscious teen).
In college, when I learned about the Myers-Briggs system of personality typing, it was like Color Me Beautiful, but on the inside rather than the outside, and so much the better!
I still have an affinity for the imagery of the seasons, as well as patterns of time, like the liturgical calendar. The repetitive cycles are paradoxically stabilizing and a catalyst for new growth. I like their interconnectedness and interdependency, as well as their unique characteristics.
The same is true of personality types - while there are sixteen, all of them have the same eight functions. The order that we prefer to use our functions is what creates our unique type. Our personalities and our earth were designed by the same Creator - the artist who paints the seasons is the author who writes our DNA, including our temperaments.
So to take a page out of Color Me Beautiful and another out of Please Understand Me (David Keirsey's four temperament analysis based on the MBTI), here is my light hearted riff on the four seasons...
Summer - SP (sensing perceiving types - ESFP, ESTP, ISFP, ISTP)
Outdoorsy, free spirited, and easygoing , SPs are either actively interacting with nature or relaxing in God's creation. Their generally sunny dispositions and warm hearts beckon all the other types to come play, to experience, to engage all their senses, to be in the moment, savoring the present.
When they aren't dancing through meadows, they are crafting with their hands - building, sculpting, manipulating raw materials, creating canvases, arranging details. They are either moving or moving something. Unless they are resting. They are so flexible, they seem to effortlessly glide between work and play and rest that it's sometimes hard to tell which is which.
Long summer days suit SPs as it gives them more daylight to pursue their outdoor interests like camping and backpacking. The simplicity and freedom of the being out of doors is a balm to their souls, and they often proclaim that this where they worship best. Surrounded by God's beauty and released from the constraints of routine, rules and abstractions.
Autumn - SJ (sensing judging types - ESFJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, ISTJ)
The seemingly endless SP summer and its carefree, fun loving ways are jarred into reality by a firm voice over a megaphone: "Back to school!" declares the SJs, the autumn winds blowing through them and out their whistles, as they hand out schedules, announce the rules, and implement structure.
It's true, the party atmosphere is gone, but there is a welcome sense of calm and order as routine sets in, along with mild, steady temperatures. Even with the more serious mood, there is still an air of festivity, but at the proper time and place. SJs are fabulous planners and lovers of tradition, so we can count of lots of organized entertaining. With their eye for detail and beauty, the decor, food, and music will be just right. They will pour us hot cider, carve pumpkins, knit sweaters, and keep everyone fashionably (and practically) dressed. They are the masters of both form and function.
When the storms hit, SJs are the first in the line of duty - dependable, steadfast, and always there, ready to do what's needed and to mobilize others to. They enforce stability and harmony, insisting on loyalty and responsibility.
Winter - NT (ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ)
That crisp SJ autumn seems infinitely stable and unshakeable...but its conventional rule is overthrown by Jack Frost, who is, of course the NT. While the other types go into hibernation with the icy blast, the masterminds come alive - creating, strategizing, inventing, analyzing, coding, decoding, and whatever else their tireless minds set themselves to do.
The rain reflects the NT's serious, and at times brooding/moody temperament, while thunderstorms convey intensity with lightning flashes of brilliance. This type is a powerful force to be reckoned with. An enigma, NTs can take charge of a crowd or retreat in seclusion - quietly holed up in the library or curled up with a cat on the couch watching a sci-fi flick.
Seemingly cold and aloof at times (or often), once you get to know NTs, they can warm up a room with quirky humor and dramatic flair. Yes, the NTs shine in winter, blazing like a crackling fire with their wit, imagination, and aptitude.
Spring - NF (ENFP, ENFJ, INFJ, INFP)
When the snow melts and buds appear on the trees, hints of new life emerging, you will find the NFs, with their dreams of a bright future. These idealists are visionaries whose minds are fertile gardens of ideas. They plant seeds wherever they go and uproot weeds, always imagination the fruitful harvest to come.
When the spring showers fall, NFs see it as a means of growth. They hold up the umbrellas over other people, offering encouragement and support to those who are struggling. In strong winds, they fly kites, always finding beauty and opportunity. NFs are romantic intellectuals, frequently found picnicking beside a peaceful stream, feasting on savory delights and deep discussions rich in figurative language.
When the weather takes a turn, they are quick to save the world - through writing or art or counseling or teaching. They have the souls of butterflies, so sensitive - easily hurt and very aware of other people's pain. NFs feel intensely, giving both passionately and melancholically. Stargazers, they see patterns everywhere - inklings, epiphanies, symbolism. They love to play dot-to-dot with God.