It was a perfect autumn morning. The cool air was clean and crisp. Colorful leaves cascaded silently to the ground like giant snowflakes. By 9:15 a.m. the sun had already taken full command of the clear blue sky. My wife and I sat and sipped our coffee together as we beheld this idyllic world. It was Thursday.
Friday arrived in like fashion…almost. A few things had changed. The sun still reigned brightly over the pastoral scene, but there were no leaves falling. The whining sound of a leaf blower droned from down the street all morning. And the wind had picked up a bit, which turned out to be a blessing, since we had to air out the house after a cooking mishap the night before. Some sauce had bubbled over the side of a baking casserole dish and burned on the bottom of the oven, permeating the entire house with a horrible, smoke-filled odor for almost an entire day. It was my own fault for overfilling the pot to begin with, and the result detracted from an otherwise nice day.
Then Saturday rolled in like a depression. It was cold, wet, and overcast. The dreary rain throughout the day set the tone to discover that a friend’s mother had died that morning. She’d been struggling with health issues for some time, but that was more of a frustration than a comfort. Then the emotional pendulum of the day swung back to the opposite extreme that evening as my wife and I attended the premier solo performance by a former guitar student of mine. I hadn’t seen him in years, and I was immensely proud of him for working his way up to booking his own gig. He was elated that I came, and I even asked him for an autograph, his very first one, encouraging him that it would be worth some money someday.
The weekend rounded out with another musical performance, this time by my sister as she played her flute and piccolo in a church Christmas production. Hearing her play evoked a mixed bag of emotions owing to memories of the motorcycle accident two years ago that almost took her from us; and the struggles she’s overcome to walk, to eat, to adapt to loss of smell, the metal plate and numbness in her face, even returning to her job as a nurse and studying to become a nurse practitioner. And at the musical production, with no feeling in her lips, she nailed every note perfectly.
“To everything there is a season,” we’re told, or sung to if you play 60s rock music (the Bible said it first, the Byrds just coined a turn-turn-turn of phrase). Seasons come, and seasons go. Each life experience lasts for a season–some short, some long, some good, some bad, some caused by our own choices, and some just follow the natural course of things. We all have them. Some we’d like to revisit, and some we’d like to forget. Some are still very real and palpable, while others are nothing more than a faded memory. Some may come around only once, and some are cyclical. Life happens.
But like that great philosopher Willie Wonka once said, “We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” Actually, he was quoting the poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy, but we’ll score Willie with an assist.
Anyway, one thing about seasons is they always change. Sometimes they overlap. Sometimes they’re unusual and untimely. Sometimes they change rapidly from one day to the next. Whatever you’re going through and wherever you’re at, it’s only for a season. And it will change. For me things have changed every day. And how was today? It was a perfect autumn morning…