Growing up on the West coast, I didn’t really get to experience the distinct changes in the season as I do now living in the East coast. There are definitely markers to indicate summer changing to fall and it’s not just on a calendar. The air gets cooler, the days get shorter, the leaves change color and the apples are ready for picking. Sometimes the change is noticeable and other times, it just comes without any notice or fanfare. The weather in the Boston area has been more summer-like, so I was surprised when I noticed that many of the trees had started turning the beautiful hues of orange, yellow and red.
The trees had already begun their reverie into fall, but I have still been clinging onto summer and wondering why the sun keeps going down so early each evening. As I looked at the trees yesterday, I started thinking about the changing seasons–more accurately–the seasons of our lives. When I was a new parent, I remember feeling the frustration of what seemed like a loss of my identity as me. I grieved the sense that my life was no longer the same and my new identity, as a parent, seemed to replace my identity as a woman, an employee and as a wife.
In those days of trying to discover myself all over again, I met with a mentor of mine who reminded me that I was in a new season of life. And much like the meteorological seasons, it was a temporary time that would eventually change. I wouldn’t always be a parent to a newborn or toddler–my role as a parent would evolve and change, as my child would get older. I also wouldn’t always be a stay-at-home parent as career paths sometimes take us on different journeys than we would’ve thought. There would be new things to learn and new roles that I would take on. Each time, a new season would bloom–sometimes it would go noticed and other times, it would be ushered in so gently, that I wouldn’t realize it until it had already come about.
Sometimes, we will be juggling several seasons at once and it can feel overwhelming. Other times, our seasons will feel dormant like the snowy and long winters of the Northeast. But what I do know is that seasons change and eventually, fall will be distinctly fall even when the beginnings still feel like summer. And in those moments where the snow feels heavy and all we see is barren land, deep down in the ground, spring is starting to sprout.
Today, my season feels more like winter than spring. I wasn’t ready for this change in season, but I do know that it is a temporary thing. I know that for all those parents of newborns and babies, things will change and be different and your sleepless fog (or not) will pass. For those who are looking for jobs or thinking of changing careers, this season will pass. And even those who are sandwiched between taking care of aging parents and your little ones, this season will eventually go to the next. Whatever season you are in, though, we go through these times at different points so that we can testify that the seasons do, in fact, change. And for me, it reminds me that where I am now is not where I am staying for good–it is my season for now and a few days, weeks, months or years from now, I will be in another season and I hope the same for you.