The Autumn equinox was September. We transitioned from Summer to Fall. The long warm summer nights give way to chillier winds and fleece pullovers. The growing season for crops peak and the harvest takes precedence. It must take a precedence before the winter sets in.
As a child I remember driving through the countryside with corn swaying tall in a Midwestern wind. That corn twice my size. Then to be driving the same route in early November and seeing bare fields and occasionally the first frost.
Admittedly in Florida it is harder to peg seasonal changes to the weather or the agrarian calendar. Sure, there’s a slight chill in the air around the end of October. Winter might plunge to the low 40’s in the evening but pales in comparison to the polar vortex phenomena of the Midwest.
Whereas seasonal changes are nice coat hangars the convergence of celebration is a steward to the change on the horizon. Summer is bookended between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Fall is marked by pumpkins, costumes and candy. Halloween followed by All Saint’s Day and All Souls Day. A shift. The celebrations cause reflection. The first…of November of those Saints that lived and died as example of the beatific vision — a path for us to follow as we strive to stay on the narrow road. All Saints followed by All Souls Day — those friends and family that go before us to eternal life.
From there the times change…literally…we are greeted to shorter days; longer nights. A call to slow down. A call for a moment to reflect on the transient nature of our lives on this planet. Recognition that this moment — right now — matters the most. And that this life is not the only leg on our pilgrimage. This awareness can carry through November to December when we commence the Great wait. Then the days slowly get brighter. The days warmer.
Such it is. As the seasons change, we change. Just as the month of days is ripped from the desk calendar so too we lock those days in our minds and hearts while we march into what awaits. The seasons beckon us to those changes — physical changes around us. They are great prompts for us to reflect on how we’ve changed and how those around us have changed — the milestones, the new height line of a growing child on the door frame, the anniversary, the new wrinkle on the laugh line around the eyes or that one memory from the summer you are sure not to forget.
As the seasons change, so do we. Take time to reflect on how you’ve changed. Retreats are great opportunities to step away to reflect and pray. The retreat can be an hour, half day, or full day. Visit your favorite church, garden, coffee shop. Unplug! Reflect! Pull out that journal and see where each moment has brought you. Reflect on where it will take you.
The seasons change. How have you?