As I write this, the temperature gauges around town are dropping by the minute. We will see freezing temperatures several times this week. In Alabama in November, this is not uncommon. Of course, it is also not uncommon to see 85 degree weather in November as well. Thanksgiving might be jackets and gloves or shorts and flip flops. It’s been over a week since the time change.
While it’s easier to wake up in the mornings and to go to bed earlier at night, darkness at 5:00 in the afternoon is still difficult to adjust to. In many houses Halloween decorations were just replaced by scenes of fall and Thanksgiving. In many other houses, Halloween moves directly into the Christmas season. Most stores have long had their shelves stocked with Christmas items by now. Time change, weather change, holiday season change – this is the time of year we are reminded of how much things can change and how little in life is permanent.
This time of year is always helpful to me in thinking about how seasonal all of life is. Long, hot, dry summers eventually do come to an end. Dark, cold, blustery winter times inevitably come upon us as well, but they are as sure to pass as summer is. In the warmth of summer we see the beauty of nature, we take vacations, and we enjoy longer days. But summer also has its mosquitos, sunburns, and sweltering heat.
Winter brings darkness and cold and occasionally icy roads. But it also brings holidays with family, warm blankets, and a chance to ring in a new year. So much of life is seasonal. Some seasons are bright and cheerful, and some are deeply dark and depressing. And just like Alabama seasons, seasons in life can drag on and on or they can be gone in a brief moment. But every season eventually changes to something else. And in every season, including this one we are in at the moment, there are opportunities for joy and thanksgiving. And in every season there are opportunities to be in service to others. May we look for both sets of opportunities – for joy and service - in whatever strange season we want to call what we are in this week.
Nathan Dickson is an attorney with Jinks, Crow & Dickson, P.C.