This last year I heard someone accurately describe the seasons in my hometown of Houston. "Summer and Not Summer. That's it." How right he was. No spring. No autumn. No winter. Just "Summer and Not Summer."
Of course, summer in Houston lasts a l...o...n...g time. The too-high-for-my-liking-temperatures have been known to start up in March and don't end until September, and in some years October. The humidity is the real killer though. I have very dear friends (you know who you are) who LOVE this. Flip flops, shorts, high temperatures, and the beach. Once October (or November) hits, the weather starts to freak out. Some days it's chilly. Some days wet. Some days warm. (I actually have pictures of my two boys as toddlers wearing shorts in the backyard having a picnic in the middle of January.) The very next day you are freezing. This lasts until things heat back up in March. This, my friends, is Not Summer.
One of the biggest things that John and I have been excited about experiencing with the kids in Colorado is the changing seasons. Last month in August I awoke one morning to cold, brisk air coming in through the open windows of the townhouse. I put on a sweatshirt, yoga pants, and fuzzy socks to stay warm. "That's it. Summer's over," my new hair stylist told me one day that week. What? Surely not. It's early August. We have another month left of summer. Right? I asked Charlie the realtor. He said, "Well, autumn's not here yet, but you really can't call it summer when the temperatures are in the 40's, can you?" Ah. Not Summer.
It's been an interesting September. Things did warm back up for a week or two, but then came the rains. We have had rain, rain, rain everyday, but we are so fortunate; we have had none of the terrible flooding that other parts of the state have endured. Steamboat has had little windows of time filled with sunshine. Yes, we have been very fortunate.
With the rain has come cooler temperatures and the beginning of changing colors on the trees. Fall is in the air. Boots and scarves are making appearances in town. Starbucks has pumpkin. The aspens are surrendering to the season and slowly beginning to show off their golden hues. I walked behind our house to get pictures of the changes around us, and a cat showed up and rubbed up against my legs, begging for attention. Even Kitty's coloring hinted at the season to come.
Last week Emma and I walked into a shoe store downtown to ask about boots. The store keeper told me that the winter forecast had already been announced. We are in for a very cold winter with above average snowfall. I said, "Wow. They can already tell?!" "Oh, yes", he replied. "The caterpillars are hairy this year." (?????) Well, I guess if the caterpillars are hairy, I'd better prepare.
I was thinking the other day as I stared at the aspens in our yard. Seasons change. Constantly. Yet the trees don't stress about it. The leaves change every year. They don't fight the process, and as a result, they are completely, utterly magnificent. Pure as gold. Breathtakingly beautiful. I confess that I cannot say the same about myself. Sometimes I stubbornly fight the process. I worry. I stress out about the changes, but God knows that when I rest in Him and let Him work, His magnificent beauty can be seen in me. Amazing Grace.
"But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold." -Job 23:10
Saying prayers for all of those affected by this week's storms in my beautiful new state. Prayers of peace. Prayers of hope.