Just the other day, my partner was verbalizing his disappointment in the fact that summer was officially over and another fall season was upon us. While I share in some of his sadness because my health seems to fare a lot better during those hot summer days, I really consider myself blessed in two ways in regards to each change of season. One, I have two eyes that are still able to see all the beautiful subtleties that come along with the shift of one season into the next. And two, I currently live in the Northeast, which gives me a front row seat to watch all those changes happen in nature 365 days of the year. But even beyond all those changes in nature, there are a lot of other things that occur with each change of season that I’ve come to look forward to.
As the fall arrives, I am grateful for the leaves changing into their various bright colors, for hearing the scary music play everywhere to embrace Halloween, for all the fun in watching kids get so excited about candy and wearing cool costumes, for pumpkin picking in a patch, for eating a slice of pecan or pumpkin pie, for drinking a cup of fresh apple cider, for taking a hayride, for carving a complex pattern into the face of several pumpkins, and for sharing that big turkey feast at Thanksgiving with loved ones.
As winter arrives, I am grateful for the first snow flake that falls on a frigid night, for the day when the sunlight comes up and all the trees and ground are coated with that powdery stuff, for walking on an ice filled pond, for the enjoyment of sledding or snow tubing, for throwing a snowball at someone with a giggle, for tasting a big icicle hanging from a roof, for drinking anything warm with peppermint in it, for seeing all the holiday lights begin to appear everywhere, for decorating my own dwelling with a festive spirit and holiday music, for sharing Christmas Eve and Day with family and loved ones, and for watching the ball come down in New York City on New Year’s Eve.
As spring arrives, I am grateful for the first flowers that pop up out of the ground, for watching all those kids everywhere get excited around Easter as they receive those candy filled Easter baskets and hunt for colored eggs, for seeing flowers planted in previous years return, for planting new things in the ground, for tilling the soil in the garden and putting down fresh mulch, for seeing the first few big budget popcorn movies that arrive at this time in the local multiplex, and for that first really warm day where I can take my shirt off and bask in the sun.
And as summer returns once again, I am grateful for a day at the beach, for a walk in the wet sand, for picking up seashells, for a swim in the ocean, for all those summer barbecues I attend, for all the fires I have in a fire pit at night, for toasting marshmallows in those fires, for sitting outside at the drive-in and watching a double feature with my partner, for huge gooey ice cream sundaes, for drinking iced coffees and other cool beverages, and for watching those fireworks explode on the 4th of July.
There really are many more things I’m sure I could mention that I’ve found appreciation for with each new season. And while people like my partner may find the end of the summer to be a real bummer (hey that rhymes!), it really doesn’t have to be for them. There are so many gifts and blessings that God provides us with each new season, no matter what part of the world someone is living in.
So as each of you head into the next change of season, I encourage you to take a moment, breathe, and allow yourself to think about some of the positive things that are going to happen at this time of the year in the area of the world you live in. I’m sure you can find at least a few of those things to look forward to. When you do, try to focus on them instead, as I’m sure you’ll find yourself welcoming in the new season with a lot more happiness, and a lot less disappointment.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson