There was a slight chill in the air this morning, the kind that makes you dig down into the back of your drawer and pull out a singlet.
Now as rain steadily falls outside, I’m content to sit with my cup of tea in hand, socks on feet and ponder the change in seasons.
I think it’s fair to say that Autumn has finally arrived (well, in the only way it can in Queensland). Sadly for me, it’s goodbye to summer, my favourite season.
I am always surprised though, strangely, when I finally begin to feel a change in seasons.
When it’s at the height of summer I can never imagine (or recall) it being anything but hot and sticky with the sizzle of sun on your skin and the smell of sun cream and sea salt on the breeze.
Likewise, in the middle of a cool winter, with ugg boots and scarves on, I can’t think of what it was like to have bare skin exposed to the elements or the urge to dive into crisp, clear, cool waters at the beach.
How funny that is. Yet, no matter where you are or what you are doing in the course of any given year, the seasons are constant and ever flowing. With them comes change; some that is welcome and some perhaps not so, but change none-the-less.
The shift that a change in season brings, has offered up the chance for me to be reflective and remember that nothing lasts forever. And in turn, consider if this is a good or bad thing?
I recall when our twins were only little bubs and as parents we were really struggling with the whole sleep deprivation gig. I couldn’t remember a time when I felt less human or more Zombie-like. I also couldn’t see an end to the sleepless nights and this only feed into my feelings of helplessness.
As I was chatting (more like wallowing) with a friend one day about this dilemma, she so gently reminded me that ‘it’s just a season’. This simple statement struck me with such force at the time (even in my dazed state) and reminded me that yes, all things ebb and flow, change is always afoot and nothing lasts forever.
With that, I could see some kind of light at the end of a dark tunnel and hope, like a new season began to spring forth. (Yes, I’m going to get my mileage out of this metaphor).
To view life’s challenges or experiences as akin to seasons, is a bit of a cliché really. Everyone from Shakespeare to the 60’s folk band ‘The Byrds’ have provided us with this metaphor for life.
‘To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn’
Peter Seeger ‘The Byrds’
But, it is so easy to forget when we’re in the thick of it.
I can count scores of times I’ve been bogged down with work that can seem to be overwhelming, endless even and allowed my mood to be adversely affected, forgetting that in time, it will get done. It always does.
On the flip side of this, it’s often only when I’m ill that I am reminded just how great it is to be well, living and full of life. Even summer doesn’t last all year and often I fail to appreciate it fully at the time.
‘If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.’
Anne Bradstreet (c.1612 – 1672)
And I’m ashamed to even admit it, but there are those days when you just can’t will change on fast enough, cause you’ve had enough of screaming children, or endless demands from work or no social life, or ……. (you get the picture).
So, no……. it’s not easy and certainly not a natural reflex to remind ourselves that things will change, that it is just a passing season. In fact, it’s when you are in the thick of it, that it’s hard to imagine yourself in any other place.
It is a fine line between enjoying life’s seasons, but at the same time knowing that change is always afoot.
At the risk of sounding all Confucius, I think it’s about acknowledging and having reverence for these shifting periods in our lives. This is something I am willing to admit……. I’m still working on.
So while the rain outside is constant now and I’ve got cup of tea number two in hand, I think I’m happy to accept that Summer is over and allow Autumn to blow on in.
And I’ll do my best to remember that whatever comes my way, no matter what, things will at least continue to ‘turn, turn, turn’.