It is officially fall. And it isn't just because Starbucks is now offering #PSL (that is pumpkin spiced latte, in case you were wondering). Besides, Starbucks is never a good indicator of the seasons since they start serving Christmas drinks before summer is even over.
This is the first time in a long time that I have noticed an abrupt transition in the seasons. I had previously been experiencing the ultimate endless summer with hot weather hitting Southern California in April. Arriving in Seattle, not much had changed with the day we moved in to our apartment being 85 degrees. Other than a couple of cloudy days over the past 2 months, the weather has been gorgeous and we have thoroughly taken advantage of it.
I know all of you Washingtonians may find this silly, but TJ and I have gotten a little tired of the gorgeous weather, him more than me. He kept dreaming of rain and the coziness of being inside on a cool autumn day.
Then he left for 2 weeks on a work trip to the sweltering heat that has swept Southern California. 91 degrees at the beach? Absurd. That is the absolute antithesis of fall. At least you can get your #PSL iced, am I right?.
Then while he was away, I woke up one morning and everything in Seattle seemed different. It was as if someone had quickly changed scenes overnight. I opened my eyes to find colorful crunchy leaves on the trees and falling to the ground, crisp, cool air with cloudy skies and occasional, sleepy rain. All of the students returned to campus, finally, and Trader Joe's, in good form, put out pumpkins and pumpkin products in the appropriate season, after the official Autumnal Equinox.
And something just has felt right.
There is a reason people in Southern California wear scarves, boots, and winter coats when it is 68 degrees out. As much as people may love the sun, people desire for there to be change, interruptions, or maybe better put, rhythms.
Don't get me wrong, I love Southern California and the neverending beautiful weather. I really do enjoy my iced #PSL in August and pulling out my winter gear to go outside on a hot, November day. But I also had the privilege of traveling to see family during the holidays in other places, or being in more seasonal weather throughout the year on trips with my parents. I unintentionally had small glimpses of what winter with snow is and how spring rain really does bring new growth from the ground and on trees.
There was always a deep appreciation for the beauty of my home, and there always will be. However, I also have welcomed seeing the world from another perspective, and now I have the opportunity of living in it as well.
For this time in my life, I really like it.
Visibily seeing and tangibly experiencing the cycles within nature affords me the opportunity to connect with differing rhythms and seasons in my own life. There is a time and a purpose for everything under heaven, we are told, and from my own experiences I can confirm that. I might not know why or for how long something will be. I might not understand it, but I can rely on things eventually changing. This is not without struggle or participation. A tree doesn't grow by itself. There are numerous factors contributing to how it flourishes.
Yet with each new season brings a reminder to engage in the rhythms around me as they are. To look to the sunrises and sunsets as indicators of when to slow down or do more. To listen for the gentle trickling of the rain to remind me of refreshing. To breathe in the fresh crisp air making me grateful to be alive.
Within seasons we are provided a chance to give ourselves grace with our ever-changing lives, as we see nature modeling for us the beauty of letting go and trusting that come spring, all the leaves that may have fallen to the ground will grow back in splendor once more.
Now having a chance to experience the fullness of summer, autumn, winter, and spring, I hope that I pay better attention to the whispers of the rhythms, enjoying each for what it brings forth and learning to see value in each.
For right now, I am grateful for the fall, and I look forward to TJ being back to enjoy it with me as well, most likely with coffee in hand, but maybe not a #PSL.