Summer has always been my favorite season due to the wider range of possibility she brings. I say she because she is a dear friend, and she is a blast! I always welcome her return. My first few years of post-college jobs were spent working for a high school and university, where work was slower in the summer months, so from childhood to adulthood Summer has given me the gift of a freer schedule. More discretionary hours and warmer weather translates to more options and opportunities for adventure.
One glorious summer I spent a week in Dallas—complete with a Six Flags visit--to be a bridesmaid in a wedding, traveled to Nashville for the Country Music Awards Festival, went on a float trip to Arkansas, threw myself a birthday party, spent two weeks in Alaska hiking, kayaking, and moose-watching, had several job interviews, and also enjoyed my fair share of Summer’s everyday delights—bike rides, game nights, movie nights, Sonic runs, picnics, and laying out by the pool. Did I mention that all these events occurred in just over six weeks? In case you hadn’t noticed, I love to go and do.
When the first cool day happens each autumn, I observe a moment of silence for the passing of Summer, and I’ve been known to shed a tear on this occasion, knowing that my exciting, up-for-anything friend won’t be around again for three quarters of a year, which seems like a very long time. In her place comes Fall, a much more laid-back companion. She’s not as much of a party girl, and I wouldn’t necessarily describe her as “fun to be with,” but if I’m honest, her arrival is a relief.
You see, Summer has me racing from one experience to the next so fast that I can’t catch my breath. Despite the grand time we have, my body and even more so my soul—the very core of myself—begins to feel tired and unbalanced, like something is missing even amidst all the activity.
Though Fall has a busyness of her own, she’s not likely to entice me to the kind of crazy calendar I described to you earlier. Her chilly weather and back-to-normal routines narrow the options for me and encourage me, my soul, to take a deep breath, put on a cozy sweater, get lost in a good book, and sip a pumpkin spice latte. Where Summer urges me to go and do, Fall reminds me to be. To be content. To be myself. To be present. To be quiet. To simply be.
I was created—both soul and body—to both do and be, to work, play, and rest. The concept of Sabbath suggests a regular rhythm for work and rest, as does my body’s need for sleep at the end of every day. I wonder if the seasons of the year were also intended to serve as reminders that I need to engage in many different states of being in order to be a whole, healthy person. I don’t know, but this year I’m allowing Fall to slow me down and to give me the time and space and permission to rest and to reflect…over a pumpkin spice latte.
How will you allow Fall to help you to simply be? Tell me in the comments.