“The coming and going of the seasons give us more than the springtimes, summers, autumns, and winters of our lives. It reflects the coming and going of the circumstances of our lives like the glassy surface of a pond that shows our faces radiant with joy or contorted with pain.” ~Gary Zukav
I remember the “Big Snow” in Cuthbert, Georgia; around 1974 or ’75 I think it was. I can recall riding with my Grandmother down Andrew Street when it first started to snow. Sitting in the front seat of the old Pontiac, I looked up at the gray sky through the front windshield and through some strange optical effect, the falling snow seemed to swirl down from a single focal point; a kind of “singularity” in a “Big Bang” of snowfall.
It snowed all night. When we peered out the windows the next morning the world was covered with a thick, white and undulating sheet of new-fallen snow; a sheet whiter than the clean, bleached white sheets on Grandma’s clothesline. We ran from window to window; gazing out until our mind’s camera had developed a panoramic view of the entire surreal scene. We dared not go out in the snow because we lacked proper attire.
Grandmothers are notorious for insisting that no one goes out in inclement weather without proper head covering, shoes and coats but, when she’d had enough of our begging to go out and she’d tired of the deep, sad, longing in our eyes, she acquiesced, but not without compromise. We had to wear winter clothes from her closet so as to be properly protected from catching an awful disease, known only to old people, called “consumption”.
So there we were, finally, outside in the deepest whitest snow we’d ever seen. I looked goofy with my Grandmothers floppy, shiny, fake-leather hat; an oversized coat and her knee high patent-leather boots. My brother faired a little better.
He was adorned in her brown leather-like tam, gloves and a matching jacket with fake fur around the collar. He actually looked rather dapper with the brown tam cocked rakishly to the side. That day, while the rest of the world had come to a screeching halt, we made our first snowmen; had snowball fights; made angels in the snow and even pissed in the snow thus soiling its virgin whiteness with our little yellow pee stains.
We enjoyed that winter and many others, but we were always joyous when spring came and the snow and ice thawed. In spring-time, the earth gives birth to new life. Nature’s first green begins to sprout. From golden hued saplings to the jolly green giants, the trees rejuvenate; the flowers bloom; butterflies flutter in the spring breeze; the bees buzz busily about their busy little bee business and the robins flock into any tree which bears berries. Sometimes the robins get so drunk on fermented China-berries that they fall to the ground like dead men. They’re not really dead though, just dead drunk. On the other hand, spring also brings rain, storms, tornados and flooding.
Summer brings its insufferable heat and long lazy days. It brings drought and high electric bills. As children we walked the scorching gravel and asphalt streets in bare feet. The heat snaked up from the pavement in transparent waves; striking us in the face like the heat from the devil’s hot breath; causing all who dared to venture outside to twist their countenance into the same squinty frown. But we were out of school! And, the swimming pool was open.
The swimming pool opened up in June. We would scrape up the $1.00 admission fee and maybe enough for a coca-cola and a hotdog. We would splash swim play until the lifeguard blew his whistle signaling time for us to head home. Then we walked home on the hot asphalt and gravel; hungry exhausted and ashy; looking like little phoenix’s who’ve just risen fresh from the fire’s hot, grey ash.
Then there’s autumn. For the children it is back to the grind of school. But, autumn is also football, hunting and basketball season. It is the season with the most pleasant weather and the season when nature puts on her most dazzling display of color; splashes of red, orange, brown, yellow and green; the season of long, crooked shadows that lean drunkenly as if belonging to old, tall, leaning drunks. Autumn is the season which makes you want to say, in the words of Sophia from “The Color Purple, “I knowed they is a God.”
So now, I’ve once again, “fetched a compass”. I’ve gone all around by Robin Hood’s barn? What is the point of these verbal meanderings? Well, it’s all about “Seasons”; the seasons of nature and the “seasons” of life.
I constantly hear musings about what “seasons” a person is in; especially from my fellow Christians. We set watch for our “seasons”; our seasons of troubles; seasons of prosperity; seasons of healing; seasons of success in business and relationships. When things are not going as we expect them to, we like to say, “It’s not my season yet” or “My season is coming; or “I’m entering a new season and my life is soon to change”; just as the seasons in nature change.
But the news here is this; in nature the different seasons come no matter what we do. The seasons come; unchanging, undeterred, and relentlessly chronological. Each year the seasons march incessantly forward because time marches incessantly forward and the seasons are inextricably interwoven with time. What changes is what we do in the season. The seasons are coming! Make no mistake about it. There’s nothing we can do to stop them.
It’s all a matter of perspective. There is no “good” season, not is there a “bad” season. There are just “DIFFERENT SEASONS”. Spring is no better or worse than fall, for all have their good AND bad points. What matters is what you do in the season; in “summer” do “summer activities”; in “winter” do “winter activities” and the same goes for autumn and spring.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, King James Version (KJV) says; “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” This verse tells us that there are things to do in every season, but you can’t do everything in every season. It doesn’t tell us to sit in the house all “winter” waiting for “spring”! We’re not to put our lives on hold while we await the proper “season”. We should do what we can in the season we’re in.
Jeremiah 8:7-8 says; ‘”7.) Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord. 8.) “‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?”’ What? Even the stork and the dove know what to do in their seasons.