In Wisconsin, the seasons change, drastically. The hardest transition for many is the end of summer to the start of autumn. It is hard to say good bye to fun in the sun.
With life being short and summer being shorter, I enthusiastically lather with sunscreen, sail with the wind in my hair, fire up the grill, walk after dinner, and sit at the patio where it is still-light until bedtime.
In September, we will lose 80 minutes of daylight. This is gradual, the sun setting two minutes earlier, day by day and accelerating as the weeks go by and we near the Autumnal Equinox. Already, I can feel the winds bringing in a cold front, snapping us out of basking in sandals and shorts to reaching for socks and pants.
Soon enough, my drive home from the day job will be with headlights on. Soups and stews will replaced grilled meats and vegetables for the evening meal.
For me, autumn means a return to pen and ink and tapping my keyboard. For me it means a welcome return to my well worn, soft brown sweater that I only wear in my office while writing.
Since July, I have dedicated little to no time at the writing desk. Over the past two decades, my writing has settled into a seasonal hobby. Reading more in the summer, writing with a bit of rust in the fall – often poems and essays, breaking for the holidays, tackling big work in the winter, and frenzied attempts to finish projects in the spring before the big break of summer.
A season is just one of four periods of the year, literally beginning astronomically at an equinox or solstice. Each with their own character of weather conditions and temperature. As the years of seasons pile up, there is a predictable rhythm, which is a comfort. I’ve been here before and here I am again.
Every time we transition to a change of circumstances, I recall Chapter 3 from the Book of Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The Word goes with a list of temporary figurative seasons, “a time to mourn and a time to dance” for example.
There is reason to rejoice in each of our seasons. Go ahead and embrace your pumpkin spice, jump into a pile of leaves, pull out your favorite sweaters, hunt, or harvest. Ready or not, on the calendar, fall begins next week. Already, I have anticipated it’s arrival. Good bye ice tea. Hello hot chocolate.