Stories and thoughts about family and life


on September 18, 2012

It has been an especially gruelling summer here in the natural state.  Arkansas does get hot during the summer, but not many like this one we just endured.  2012 will go down as the third hottest on record, with 1954 and 1980.  I remember the summer of 1980 as well.  My dad and I would spend our afternoons hauling hay, and I would come into the living room in the evening and quite literally collapse on the sofa.  The heat was miserable, and having to work out in it was just that much worse.  At least now, I have an air-conditioned office and home.  I’m very fortunate, and I’m exceptionally grateful.

As we move into fall, with the soft autumn breeze and the sunshine-filled days, I find myself coming alive again.  I think fall is my time of year–I’ve survived the summer and I look forward to cooler days and crisp evenings.  I look forward to Halloween and cool Sunday afternoons with football games on as I lounge on the bed and nap occasionally.  I look forward to scout campouts and snuggling down in my sleeping bag and enjoying the fresh air.  And hay rides.  And carnivals.    There isn’t much that isn’t comforting about fall for me, and Autumn is my favorite season because of all it brings.  Yes, the leaves turn and the world “dies” temporarily, but even in that I’m reminded that we are all given a chance to let the bad die and for us to prepare for a rebirth the next year.

I love to watch the dogs play in the fall, and see how much they’re enjoying the cool weather.  I love when the leaves begin to change colors and fall, and when it’s time to start turning the heat on at night again.  Don’t get me wrong–I don’t necessarily want to be cold.  Still, there is a lot to be said for that cooler weather.  I think a really hot summer makes you appreciate it all the more.  If the previous generations are correct, a terrible winter always follows a terrible summer.  If that’s true (and it was in 1980), this is going to be an ugly winter with lots of snow and ice.  Until then, I’ll enjoy my Autumn, and breathe in long, contented breaths of cool Arkansas air.

This changing of the seasons reminds me similarily of our lives.  We move through patterns where things are very hot and uncomfortable, and you question whether it will ever end.  You spend the days just trying to get through to a cooler time, and a time where you can breathe more easily.  It seems those times are short-lived more often than not, and followed by the harsh cold of winter.  It’s interesting to me that the two more pleasant seasons, spring and autumn, are separated by the two more harsh:  summer and winter.  I suspect this was Mother Nature’s way of making us appreciate the really wonderful times and be willing to survive through the more harsh times.  Says a lot about life, when you think about it.  Ebbs and flows, sacrifices and achievements, struggles and enjoyments.

So, as you stand out on the sidewalk this afternoon, feeling the cool breeze and looking forward to a wonderful Arkansas autumn, think about the better times around the corner, and how nothing in life is permanent.  It all changes, and it all has aspects to appreciate and ignore.


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