I love seasons. The distant memory of growing up with four distinct seasons is what propelled Steve and I eastward when it was time to move on from California. Each one ushers in its unique beauty and symbolism. Each one also brings parts we’d rather do without.
Kind of like life.
Every place I’ve lived, there’s been one season that’s harder to endure than the others. Often that’s winter with its barren landscape and bitter cold. But even winter has its pleasant moments (think snow, time off, Christmas). At this point in my life, as a middle-aged woman in the South, summer is my most difficult season. When I step outside some days, it feels like I’m in a steam sauna turned to high. Then there’s the desolation at my workplace (a college campus) when students leave.
But even this most trying season doesn’t last forever. It’s ending! I’m filled with anticipation for my favorite season. (At least, right now Autumn feels like my favorite, but in March, I know I’ll forget again and think it’s Spring.)
Already I see signs of fall’s arrival. Life and noise and energy on campus. Football teams practicing. The smell of fresh new schoolbooks. The compulsion to buy school supplies and “bouquets of newly sharpened pencils” (from You’ve Got Mail) . The hope of another chance with another school year. A few early leaves turning color remind me of God’s brilliant artistry, soon to swathe these mountains in vivid color. The memory of mugs of hot apple cider, stacks of plaid blankets, a crisp chill in the air, mountains of leaves to jump in, and gooey s’mores to roast over the campfire. It feeds my soul and invigorates my spirit.
Are you in a difficult season right now? Perhaps it’s so dark, it feels like it’ll never end. But it will. And God is right there with you in the darkness.
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven –
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.”