Fall and winter are fighting it out on my deck. Summer gave up long ago, although there is still evidence of a long-forgotten 4th of July evening in the splatter of wax from an over-turned candle. The deck boards are complaining about the October snow and the trees are doing their best to look fall gorgeous even though they were battered by 6 inches of heavy, wet Colorado snow just a few days ago.
It still looks like fall, feels like fall…except for the pile of snow. Winter’s proclamation that change is coming. It’s not unlike what’s happening internally. I’m walking in one season, fully immersed, up-to-the-elbows in it. But my heart is hearing another season beginning to make its claim. Like my deck, I feel confused. Is it fall? Is it winter? Why can’t seasons be cut and dried? I mean there is a day on the calendar, clearly marked: First Day of Fall. That’s when this season starts. But actually, that’s just when the wrestling begins. There is no such thing as a clear-cut season in Colorado. NO, it’s 80 in January, 50 in June and it snows in October.
Today, this feels like my own heart, wrestling for clarity. Struggling to understand the season I’m in and the one I can see so clearly just ahead. If only the days were marked on our calendars for us. That we would know when to shift our focus, when to wear flannel and when to pull out the fleece. When to hold on and when to let go. And when to finally move on.
But like my funny yet wonderful Colorado weather, it’s not to be. Like my deck, my life is a jumbling of seasons. All I can do is watch for the signs, navigate the best I can, and try not to be fearful of what lies ahead. This is where the art of listening and waiting and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit plays a major role. In my own flesh, I could jump too soon. And in my own fear, I could rest too long. There is no perfect day to transition, to leave one season for another. Perfection is a big fat lie. Found only on the pages of a magazine or my Instagram feed. So, I will begin walking in the direction of this next season, while keeping my feet plodding through my current responsibilities and opportunities. Soon enough, the last leaf will fall and my deck will be a winter wonderland. A new season will bring new adventure and new challenges of its own.
So, I guess there is no rush. My own impatience maybe? My desire to exchange the old for something new and exciting. Soon enough. This is not an easy place to be, for any of us. It’s probably where we struggle most, I might guess. But perhaps it’s also where we grow the most. And learn to listen. And even enjoy the turbulence of shifting seasons. In all their glory.