Wednesday, November 10, 2021


I love the changing of the seasons.

Especially the ones in me.

Having recently returned from a trip to the north I am in a practical way reminded of how much I love the changing of the seasons. I have a particular fondness for autumn, and so I was thrilled to experience the array of vibrant colors as the leaves begin their inevitable descent. The air was at times chilly, and in the morning hours out and out cold. I could feel the transitioning of autumn into winter, and the blurring that was still teasing.

As I beheld the colors and embodied the chill I pondered if I myself have moved fully beyond the blur.

Do I have any internal autumn remaining, or am I fully ensconced in the winter of my living?

While to some readers that may seem an irrelevant question, I deeply appreciate the inquiry.

I have lived in the tropics for over twenty-five years. While there are seasonal changes in this part of the world, they are decidedly subtle. I have grown to notice them more readily over the years. Having been reared in the north there has always been something dystonic about this climate. It has always and continues to feel out of my natural rhythm. While I appreciate the subtle changes, I greatly prefer more dramatic shifts. Chilly and subtle leave me wanting. At least in terms of prolonged experience. I even love the extended period when the trees are bare and brittle with the cold. I can always feel an emergent animation beneath the barren appearances. I know that in a time the brittleness will give way to bud, and bud to flowering. It is a thrilling emergence.

I was born on an Easter Sunday. I am a spring baby. In my youth I could not wait to get out of the emerging spring and into the full out expression of summer. I wanted the summer to never end. Ease of action and expression for me seemed the epitome of life living itself full out as me. So fixated was I on youth, freedom, action, and adventure that I barely noticed the fall season that was beginning to settle in. Truth be told I did not notice my internal autumn until I was fully in it and it was fully in me.

In my noticing I began to appreciate that my seeming ever-greening leaves were being replaced by fiery, passionate, vivid colors. As much as I had identified with my summer ardor it was being replaced by an even greater splendor. Though having been born originally in the spring a rebirth was occurring during the autumnal season of my living. Something quite unexpected was happening. Though I had wanted to prolong my summer experience at any cost I was finding that it paled in comparison to the blaze of my fall.

Something else amazing was happening. Even as I relished the embracing of a latter season, I was not clinging to autumn the way I had to summer. I intuitively knew that this autumn of life would inevitably lead me to the winter of my experiencing. My vibrant colors would begin to fade. The leaves of my fullest glory would soon begin to literally fall. What was so amazing was that I was devoid of any fear or any notion that the final turning should somehow not occur. I had my spring. I seized my summer. I blazed as autumn. And soon I would be finalizing as winter.

Rereading that last paragraph, I question and smile at my own framing.

I feel with a serene certainty that I have already entered the winter of my incarnation. That does not mean that I have no vibrancy or passion left. I am not ready to go completely within. I am cooler, yet I am not frozen. I am slower, yet I am still moving. There is more subtlety and there is ample life remaining in my undeniable seniority. It is perhaps late in my incarnation, yet the lights are still on. I am at a place now where I have experienced and can now describe the spring, the summer, the autumn of my human adventure. And I have never been more awake to my seasonal nature. I have never been less resistant to being exactly where I am with no longing to be somewhere else.

I have known the curiosity and wonder of spring.

I have known the enthusiastic full out expression of summer.

I have relished the passion and vibrancy of autumn.

And I coming to know and to love the contemplative presence of winter. The lesser doing in order to more fully be. The cool that only comes from knowing that all things will indeed pass. Including youth.

So, while I remain living in the tropics I mostly dwell in the full spectrum of my seasonal nature. I am content to know that I arrived in spring. That I had my summer. That I harvested my autumn. “Been there, done that” as the saying goes. And now I am fully engaged in living my winter.

I have lived my entire life from a perspective that I did not want to miss anything. Yet for much of that lifetime I did not want to find myself in winter. I did not want to wake up one day and find that I was old. There is a subtle denial of life in that perspective. I have been young. I have been middle age. And now I get to try out the venture of being a senior citizen.

How cool is that?

As cool as winter, my friends. As cool as winter.

I love the changing of the seasons.

Especially the ones in me.