Summer’s long days and warmth lull me into forgetting about the passage of time. I can dress the same at 6am as 6pm, and the daylight goes on and one. Summer is lush and easy and I become complacent. The heat and humidity encourage a more languid pace; it’s no coincidence that baseball, the sport that requires patience and careful attention to detail from fans and players alike, is a summer game. Winter and summer share the endless quality of one day following another, the feeling that everything will always be as it currently is.
Fall is the season of goodbyes and transitions. Summer’s looseness gives way to a rekindling of vigilance. In summer, I don’t think much about what to wear; it will be warm all day. In fall, the temperature can vary by 50 degrees between 7am and 5pm. Autumn is football and kids going back to school.
Spring is when life rekindles and those of us living in Northern climes start projects. Fall and spring are short seasons in my part of the world, and both are filled with exhilaration and the sense that anything can happen. Tornadoes occur in spring and fall. The weather is changeable, and it’s not uncommon to have snowfalls and 70-degree days in a single week.
There’s a magic to these short seasons, a realization of how precious and fragile the time we have is and that every single moment counts. I’ve learned this from watching the seasons change each year, and it was driven home to me last year, as my life changed so drastically between July and September. The lesson I’ve taken from this is that life can be as capricious as Wisconsin fall weather patterns. That waiting until everything seems just right can mean never doing anything. I have no idea where my life will be in 10 years, or even next year, but I do know that wherever I end up will be because I took control and did something, instead of passively waiting for the weather to change.