FOR EVERYTHING THERE is a season. The Bible tells us this. Pete Seeger wrote a song in 1958 titled “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season).” The song used the Bible verse to express Seeger’s feelings about the state of the world.

And, of course, the American rock group “The Byrds” recorded their version of the song in 1965, and took it all the way to No. 1. So much for your history lesson of the day.

Today, we still have seasons for all things. We just finished up our annual gun deer hunt, which in Wisconsin ranks up near the top of all seasons. Now, we are well into the start of Christmas season, though umpteen stores, radio stations and such began their Christmas season in early October. Bah! Humbug on them!

For me, there are all kinds of important seasons. In the spring, there is turkey hunting; opening of fishing; listening to spring peepers in backwoods ponds; watching ducks, geese and swans stopping off at north Wisconsin lakes and potholes on their northward migration; morel; and the beginning of camping.

Seems like an awful lot to cram into one short spring season.

Then, comes summer season. With it comes grilling out; more camping; tourist, to which I sometimes utter a great big “ugh”; waterskiing and jet ski, which I abhor; beach sunbathing, which my wife adores and I abhor; evening campfire and so many more seasons.

Fall is the best season of all with its attendant upland bird, duck, deer and turkey seasons; along with firewood gathering for some; leaf peeping for a month or so; leaf raking or blowing, for which I hire young guys with strong backs and weak minds; and waiting and watching for first ice.

Then, comes winter. Winter means snowmobiling season for thousands, of which I am not one; downhill skiing for thousands, of which I used to be one centuries ago; snowshoeing, for which I am occasionally one; for me, once in a while, ice fishing and cross-country skiing, which takes up most of my time in the winter.

Like everyone else waiting for the first serious snow of the winter season, I am anxiously awaiting it. Not that I enjoy pushing a shovel around or wrestling a snowblower around, but snow means cross-country skiing and for that I am usually a four, five or even six days a week participant, either skiing or grooming trails for skiing.

The biggest of all days during the cross-country season for me is, of course, American Birkebeiner day. Last year, I reached a milestone I’ve been working toward since 1984, when I did my first Birkie.

My 20th completed Birkie last winter didn’t come without some aches and pains, and occasional bad words muttered under my breath while in the latter stages of the race, but it felt like the world was mine when the PA announcer at the finish line told the assembled hundreds still lining Hayward’s Main Street, down from many thousand earlier in the day, that as I crossed the finish line I was now a certified Birchlegger.

This year, Birkebeiner season, like everything else in the world since last March, will not be the same. At this time, the plan is still on for an actual Birkebeiner on the Birkie trail with all kinds of modifications and safeguards in place. Of the 6,000 or so skiers already registered, it will be a different Birkie with no spectators, Hayward Main Street finish, giant warming tent, bus transportation and a lot of other things.

But it will be a Birkie, and it will be a super special and great event. I just won’t be there for it. I will be doing a different Birkie this year. Actually, I’ll be doing a different Kortelopet, the Birkie companion race of 26 kilometers, a shorter race.

I have decided, like I’m guessing at least several hundred other skiers will have decided, to do the virtual Birkie or Kortelopet in 2021.

I will ski the race at Razorback Ridges in Sayner, timing myself, although virtual racers’ times will not be used for 2022 wave seeding. Right now, at least three of us are planning on doing the virtual race at Razorback, with possibly a celebratory virtual dollop of Crown Royal at the finish.

No matter how it works out, an unusual and unwanted virtual race at that, it will be a fun time and a way of keeping my cross-country skiing season going as it has for 40 years; most of those years with the Birkie or Kortelopet serving as the icing on the cake.

As the Bible says “For everything there is a season.” For nine months and counting now, the seasons have been different. Who knows how long they will continue to be different? Like most people I have made the best of what we’ve had and in some ways at least, the seasons have been pretty darned good.

For that I’m thankful.