When I was younger I hated the fall. I also hated spring, both for the same reason:
They are transitional seasons.
My dislike for these seasons stemmed from the belief that they were in-between periods of weather, which meant they were occupying time before the real seasons happened, the extreme weather season.
Fall and Spring are not quite one or the other, they alternate hot and cold until they finally reach one steady temperature. And in my antsy young mind I wasn’t about to bother with the build up months between the dichotomy of winter and summer.
Because if you think about it, spring and fall are the same thing. They are roughly the same temperature happening after a certain period of prolonged weather. So depending on the weather you just finished forging, say a cold winter or a hot summer, the fall or spring will be welcomed as a nice cool down or a great warm up. But they are the same weather. You just experience it differently because of the circumstances you just came out of.
And I resented that, that wishy-washy-ness, that “light-jacket” period of life (because If I have to carry a jacket around with me everywhere I better have to wear it!). I was more concerned with the final cut, the end result. Be hot or cold, weather, you can’t have it both ways!
I felt like this for a really long time. Annoyed at the little buds that grew on the apricot tree in my backyard. Blossom already, I thought.
And then slowly, my life began to shift. I grew older and taller and no longer saw the world as black and white or hot and cold; and my allergy to transition seasons slowly faded away.
Because I started understanding the importance and need of in-between periods.
Like in Spring, when new things begin to grow
And in Fall, when the old makes way to prepare for the new.
Both seasons being critical to the outcome of the next.
Which is no different than in our own lives.
We have waiting season and periods between major life moments that can make us uncomfortable and antsy, when the old is making way for the new or the new is starting to grow. Though we might not notice it at the time.
If we could just get to the good stuff, we think
Skip all the build up, we think
How many times can you look back on your own life and pin-point a moment you resented while in the midst of it, only to look at it now and recognize yourself growing and learning through it? Many, I’m sure.
That’s how it always happens. We don’t see the whole picture. And the in-between seasons might be messy and chaotic, but they’re doing something:
They are the paint brushes being dipped in paint ready to brush a canvas
The string being threaded through the tiny needle eye, ready to start a strong stitch.
Each movement tedious and seemingly insignificant, but both the beginnings of something new and good. And necessary.
I hated the fall because it wasn’t quite winter and I hated the spring because it wasn’t quite summer. But these seasons matter, not only to the progress of nature, but to the souls well-being. It's healthier to grow into something, then to collapse into it.
In these moments, we learn patience and contentment, to rely on God and not ourselves. And that even in a light jacket, we can raise our faces to the sky and enjoy the warmth it gives without worrying and vying to know what will happen next.
We learn to sit contently, wrapped in a scarf in the Fall sun.