This Present Season

Suddenly we have rain. The blazing summer sun whose heat kept me in sandles and tank tops is covered with bright, grey clouds that keep spitting out bits of rain. The temperature has dropped so that I have to put on socks to keep my toes warm and even a light sweater to take off the chill. My socks are strange and twisted on my feet and my sweater bulky around my shoulders.

It is not unusual for me to feel uncomfortable and restless when the season changes. There is so much I did not accomplish in the last season. There is so much to do in the next. I write lists, goals, and inspirations on slips of paper that promptly get lost in the hustle and bustle of this new season, soon to be over and on to the next.

The seasons of life can catch me off guard at times as well. I avoided the season of being a mom without a baby when Matthias came along a year ago; but a mom with a baby at forty is much different than a mom with a baby at twenty. It too is a new season. It's a lot like fall instead of spring. I take more time to sip and savor the baby moments like I would a cup of tea on a fall day like today. I take note of the minor changes in this little guy like I do the discoloration of the leaves and the crispness in the air. He was able to sit still and take an interest in a book today. I stayed with the moment as long as I could. Soon he'll be in the summer of reading. Now I can guide his little hands and eyes to recognize the letter "E" and the elephant.

It's so different from the baby in the spring of my twenties. I was all in a rush to get that baby to grow up. At the end of today, that baby of my spring season will have completed her first month of public high school. She has been a mostly happy, often haughty, home schooler since 3rd grade, so a step onto a public high school campus in a new town where she did not know a soul, was not easy. To top all the newness off, she is pretty shy, although growing more confident every day. I have been one proud mama as she walks with courage into school each morning sporting her dress code clothing (collared shirts kakhi pants).

And now I cry as I think of her in her season of young womanhood. The wider world is so new to her. I fear the bite and stings she will feel as the reality of life begins to confront her; but I have let her go and experience it for herself. She knows all about the "E" and the elephant. I've taught her most of what I know about the simpler things. In fact, she knows more than I do now (so she thinks). Yet she still comes to me when she doesn't know and I take her hand and teach her slowly what I have learned about friendships, the ups and downs of feelings, success in academics and other more "grown up" kinds of things.

Seasons come and seasons go. Life moves on. I try to hold on to the good. I try to sift out the regrets. I try, but often fail and on days like today. Those intimate and important moments from past seasons, good and bad, rest heavily on my heart. I watch a leaf fall from a tree as I wipe a tear from my cheek. The seasons of life, like the seasons of weather, come and go. They ebb and flow like the tide. They wax and wane like the moon. I cling to one and anticipate the next.

Now I take a deep breath and stand in the present.

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