A season of contemplation

This year Autumn came suddenly. As if controlled by a light switch, one evening it was light at 8pm and the next evening it was dark. Just like that, the anemones were blooming and the leaves were falling.

This year for the first time in many, I was able to welcome Fall. And this is a real achievement for me because usually I dread Fall.  Usually, Fall for me, is the death of summer, the end of the fun.  But after such a hot summer in Germany, I was ready for cooler weather.  And truly, this Fall I’m getting to look at how far I’ve come, which is always an energy booster.  Getting to compare this year to last year, I’m breathing a sigh of relief that I made it.

With six months of school under my belt and a few friends to call my own, I think now I’m getting to experience a kind of after glow, a short golden age. Right now, while I get to stay at home with the baby I can really breath in each moment, notice every fleeting detail and feel the seasons come alive–Maybe the this is the beginning of me loving Fall!

Not to mention that Franconian Greetings are an entirely different story when you have a baby.  I have been shocked at how the sweet, warm, gooey hearts of the old, usually staunch, cold Franconians come out at the first sight of a stroller or a mom carrying her baby in a carrier. I get such warm greetings now.  The rules of greetings seem to have changed entirely however its possible that what has really changed is my ability to understand and interpret what people are saying.

This luxury has made me appreciate lots of things, but one thing in particular I have come to realize:

Don’t wait.

Don’t wait until you feel all the way ready to get started with whatever it is you need to do in your life. This is terribly difficult, and I’m not encouraging rushing though anything, but I am saying that truly, a year passes by no matter what we do.  What is certain is that the next year will pass and even if it seems hard or long, it will take a year and then whatever is happening now– will be over. This year will be the past and that time will either have been filled and a great investment for us or it will have been empty. No matter what, it will be gone. It is such a relief to me that I spent this last year focused on learning to speak German and getting acclimated here.  My everyday life is 100% better because I did that. Now–just like that– a year has passed and the hardest part is over and done.  New challenges will always present themselves, but boy am I relieved that I am where I am now instead of where I was a year ago.

Those of us who live in temperate regions are lucky to experience the four seasonal changes and this past year especially has given us an abundant show of nature’s loveliest displays. What a luxury to get to feel like you had enough sunshine before the fall comes and enough cool, colorful breezes before the snow. To taste each one and be ready for the next season is something I am thankful for this year.

Nature has a certain enviable balance. It goes through tumultuous seasons of difficulty but that isn’t the long term norm for nature and it shouldn’t be for us either. Sometimes we act as if life should be difficult, that it in order for us to have meaning life needs to be a non stop roller coaster that makes us feel crazy–then we know we are really strong or making something of ourselves–as if the more difficult our lives are, the more we deserve something good. But I’m not sure that’s true. Sometimes it’s all we can do to survive– but we need the seasons of difficulty balanced with seasons of rest in order to live full lives.

I think we have a specific amount of time on earth and all the time we didn’t appreciate doesn’t get added up into a lump sum for appreciation at a later date. We either live and breath it all in while we are here, or we hold our breath and just get by. Either way, thinking about all this has inspired me to get going! Auf gehts!

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