Anyone who knows me, knows of my disdain for the winter months. Yes, the snow is picturesque as it falls. Yes, it’s delightful to watch the children play in it, and relish in the opportunity for a day off from school. But the cold that bears down on my skin for what seems like YEARS, instead of months, is not my favorite. I could skip right over the winter season, and be just fine. But I digress. That is NOT what this article is about. The seasons I’m referring to, have to do with the seasons of life.
I must be at “that age,” if I’m to the point of writing about this topic. But I reflect more these days. I notice more. And I’m starting to accept the realization that these seasons don’t last long at all. Just like with winter, I’ve reminded myself that if I wish it away too much, the “moments” that come with it, will go by just as fast. I recently overheard one of our church youth leaders ask a group of kids about the seasons of life. He asked them what season they were in, compared to their parents and grandparents. I learned I was in the fall of my life. Whew! Like I said, I really don’t like winter!!! So I’m definitely not ready to be in its “season.” But it’s coming. It’s coming whether I’m ready or not.
Would I want to go back to the spring? Probably not. But I’ve always been a fan of summer, so that’s a season I could re-visit (90’s fashion, hairdos, and all)! Well maybe. Truly though, I am content with where I am now. I’m wiser (right?). I’m bothered less by the insignificant things around me. I know myself. I know my friends. I don’t need affirmation to fill me up and make me complete. This is a good place. A great season.
This crazy life just keeps plugging along though, with or without me on board. When I think of how I feel about these ever changing seasons, I’m reminded of how my parents must feel. Rarely a week goes by, that I don’t get a message from them, telling me of another friend’s funeral they attended. Sometimes it’s more than one in a week. It’s their new normal. A chance to say goodbye to dear friends, while catching up with those still among us. There are days I don’t feel far behind them. Quite often lately, I hear of a friend’s newly diagnosed illness or disability. That didn’t happen so much in the summer. It’s tough to grasp. It’s tough to think about growing older and losing loved ones–even though we understand that part can come in any season of life. Proof that no matter the season, seizing the moment is what matters most.
For now, fall is a lovely season—probably my favorite to this point. It’s filled with change. We see it everyday in the faces of our girls. We see it in their growing independence and the responsibilities they face with growing older themselves. This seasons includes, new schools (high school for one, and college right around the corner for another), a new job for me, so the bank is fuller when the time comes to pay for school, and the worries that come with having children out on the roads and making social decisions for themselves. Come to think of it, this may be a harder season to weather than winter. While I’m choosing to cherish each wonderful, sometimes gut wrenching aspect of raising my girls–it’s hard to think of how quickly it’s going by. Lucky for me, their spring brings me new life most days. I’m living through my girls, as I watch them on the stage and the soccer field. I’m alive with excitement at the thought of finding the perfect beautiful prom dress for my oldest, and watching her enjoy the traditions that come with high school. My heart races, knowing we will still have our youngest in the house for many years after the other two are gone (that will surely make my fall last longer, right?). Their joy makes my heart burst open, like the flowers pushing through the ground from the early warm spring weather. Sorry—poetry has never been a strength of mine.
Many times during my adult life, I’ve looked around and said to myself, “Wow–these are my people and this is my life. How did this happen?” Of course I mean it in a good way. But there are so many days when spring seems not so far gone. I’m learning though– by taking time to look longer (the whole “stop and smell the roses” thing is actually good advice), find the good in every season, and to prepare myself for the beauty that will come with winter.