The fall season in Southern California is very clearly defined. Temperatures in the mid-80’s, 10-day forecasts on weather.com of “mostly sunny” from top to bottom, and- oh… I guess that’s about it.
You do however get the pleasure of watching local nightly news stations that feature psychotic weather men with grossly tanned skin dancing to pop songs and waving around plastic pumpkins.
But I digress.
The seasons here are like a long and tired drive accross the Mojave desert. The same long stretches of highway, the same hot sun burning above. Sometimes you spot something fly by you on the side of the road. “Look Ma, a scare-crow!” There goes Fall. “Look Ma, a Christmas Tree!” There goes Winter. “Oh look Ma, a- ‘shut the hell up Jimmy and go back to sleep!'”
Poor Jimmy. Soon he’ll go numb to the impossibly subtle differences between Summer and Winter. He’ll learn never to open his stupid mouth again.
It’s not fair to complain about the weather here but I’m going to. I feel it is my duty to awaken the poor populous of people without seasons.
So my story begins…
Tonight as I walked from my car to my apartment something magical happened. Senses were awakened as an unexpected and unfamiliar sensation flooded my body!
I felt a cool breeze.
Ahhhhhhh. I stood for a moment letting the air blow over me. “This,” I said aloud, “is amazing…”
As if God had flipped a switch a thick layer of clouds blew in, the sun vanished, winds gusted through the trees, and the world went gray. The kind of gray that makes you think of trick-or-treating, Chili for dinner, and monday night football. The kind that brings you memories of your parents and cousins getting together for family dinners drinking hot cider and eating cookies. When you live in a place where every season feels exactly the same, you forget what it’s like to appreciate the simplicity of being inside to escape the cold.
Seasons somehow make you feel more, they mark memories and make them tangible. They open your heart to what matters in life- the people around you and the times you share with them. Maybe because when it’s impossible to take a beautiful day for granted, it also becomes impossible to take the people God places in your life for granted. Such a psychological nuance we don’t even recognize exists. Until it’s gone.
Most importantly though seasons represent progression. A forward push from one chapter in life to the next. Life is, after-all, a string of extraordinary events don’t you think? Marvelous unimaginable events that can take us out of something bad or into something good. The miracle of your first born baby boy, the unexpected death of your father, fulfilling a life-long dream of travel. The emotions that accompany a life of fulfillment. The things that mean the most seem to be attached to something in our minds. We don’t sit around and think of them everyday (that would be exhausting). But for many, like myself, they can be triggered by something so simple. Like a cool gust of wind at the beginning of a new season.