Lessons from the Seasons

As you now know, I grew up in Los Angeles where the weather is pretty perfect (like in the high 70’s) all year round. The sun shines almost daily and rain and cold are very rare (as evidenced by the horrible drought). It’s all quite lovely, unless, for some strange reason, you’re like I am and you had a burning desire to live where there are seasons.

It was one of the reasons we moved to Franklin – seasons…not crazy seasons…but noticeable seasons – and we have them!

What I didn’t realize is what I would learn from them and how they would help me grow.

We’ve lived here a little over a year now and we’re about to enter our second fall. I love fall. There’s just something about this time of year. I’m pretty sure my Dad had a lot to do with cultivating my love for autumn. I used to wish that fall in Los Angeles would be cold and windy and crisp, but it wasn’t.

I wanted a Norman Rockwell scene and…now I live in one. Truly…Franklin looks like a Rockwell painting.

Last year I had no idea how much I should pay attention and delight in fall – because I had no clue that winter was going to be so harsh and last so long. I remember going outside in March and lying on the grass and looking for a green blade of grass. Sounds crazy, right…but I did it.

Fall was short last year and truthfully, I was literally still trying to figure out where I was.

But this year…I have big plans to spend a lot of time outside and take it all in. The air has already begun to change. The humidity has lessoned and the mornings are crisp. Soon it will be time for a sweater. Don’t you just LOVE sweaters?

More importantly, the seasons have taught me some important lessons.

We begin the year with winter. January is frigid and dark and the wind chills you to the bone. Beginning the year in the dark now symbolizes a new way for me to show up in my life. I will find new ways to warm my soul differently. Last year I was a bit scared of the darkness and cold until I discovered how strong and resilient I am.

It’s an interesting idea to begin the year not with a bang…but with a soulful nurturing and find the blessings and joy even when the sun is not making an appearance. It’s so different from how I thought it was going to be. Winter can really take its toll on your emotional constitution. It can have its way with you if you don’t have a plan. This year I’m going to have a plan. I have to say…I sure hope it snows a little more than last year. I want some snow and it’s rare here in Middle Tennessee.

A very rare occurrence, but nonetheless, I made footprints in the snow.

The thing about winter is that it always brings the promise of spring and wow…now I know what all the hoopla is about spring.

The abundance of nature that practically shows up overnight is quite miraculous. Flowers bloom everywhere…buds pop open on the trees…the light changes and neighbors emerge from the darkness of winter. I’ve never experienced the true rebirth that accompanies spring, but something happens in your heart and it’s time to break open the windows and let the warmth in. Spring is also a soulful opportunity as I felt the confines of winter leaving and an opening of my heart to all that is possible. Another season…a new beginning.

I made it through summer! My west coast friends used to say, “You know it’s going to be humid, right?” Uh…yes…I knew and now I KNOW! Maybe it was because I thought it was going to be so horrible and it wasn’t that I made it through without incident. Summer in the South is filled with tradition…and it’s mostly families spending a whole lot of time outside…at the lake or the river or heading to the beach!

Fireflies make their appearance and there’s magic in Southern summers. I had never seen so many shades of green in lush meadows!

I found the magic in the littlest things and that is a good reminder of what I need to do every day. Afternoon storms roll in and cool things off even if it’s for a few minutes. Summer sunsets take your breath away.

This past summer I let go of a whole lot of “stuff” that was holding me back…I let it go so I could have a personal vacation inside my heart! You don’t have to always go away to have a summer vacation.

And now…fall is showing up ever so slowly. The beauty of fall in Franklin is something to behold! Soon the leaves will begin putting on a bountiful show! The hillsides will resemble a patchwork quilt. The mornings are crisp…the days are cooler and nights are chilly. But what happens here is a celebration of all that is good, and you have to experience it to truly understand it. We harvest vegetables and prepare for winter. We hunker down a bit more as the days become shorter. There’s something to “everyone gathering around the hearth.”

A fall reflection…

There are fall celebrations aplenty! For me…it’s a shedding of what isn’t serving my life. It’s the final letting go and preparing for where I want to be. It’s allowing all the colors of fall to wash over me and bathe me in the beauty of what is to come and what can be.

Seasons become a mighty powerful process. It’s waking up to what is new and possible and it’s a blessing.

What do the seasons mean in your life?

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