Most mornings lately I’ve lingered on my front porch a few minutes longer than I should, breathing deep the easy autumn air that’s started slipping into the early morning hours. I thrive with a hot cup of coffee warming my hand, with steam working its way into the knit fabric of my favorite cardigan. Yet, with the week’s cool weather came a nasty cold and the reminder that days will soon be shorter. There is no such thing as a perfect season.
Too often, I think, we expect seasons to be our saviors. If I can just get through this month, we bargain, things will look up. And sometimes things do. But when we put stock in a new season to save us, we fail to appreciate the importance of the last one. This year, as August turned to September, I felt relief at the end of a long, heavy summer, while managing to name the ways the summer shaped me for the better. And though I’m still not over the magic of fall, I’m seeing the new challenges that this season will present and recognizing that I still have growing to do.
The truth is, when we put stock in something as changeable as the weather, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. In high school, I looked forward to college. In college, I lived semester to semester waiting for the next new thing. And now, the next new thing is less certain. It’s hard sometimes to settle into the present without imagining a better alternative. But the only way to live well is by accepting that the beauty of each season is equal to the one before.
As I learn to live each day with meaning, it’s spilling over into the way I view seasons. Weather is unpredictable, and human hearts even more so, but that’s a gift. The air is changing, and we have the chance to change with it. We aren’t looking for a way to escape the present, but to grow beyond it. Each season can be approached with quiet wonder and acceptance of whatever beauty it will hold.
So this week, stand on your front porch or roll down your car windows. Take in everything this season has to give you, but don’t forget to take time to reflect on what the last season gave you as well. Don’t be afraid to look ahead while keeping your feet planted in the present. Every day you live is part of the story of who you’re becoming: cherish it.
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