Monday, September 10, 2012

Seasons

The seasons here in Colorado are much more distinct than in Texas.

I’ve seen summer come and go, heat waves invisible in dry air, bright yellow flowers raising their heads from the sea of coarse grass and cactus. The mountains stood brown and bare in their broad shouldered splendor, setting themselves against the line of the horizon. I walked the paths near my current home almost every day, squinting against the harshness of the sunlight even as I looked up at the depths of a sky so deep you could drown in it.


 

Autumn is coming now. I’ve been tasting it for a little while now in the way the air feels right before twilight. The golds of sunset seem richer, darker, liquid light pouring over the white skins of the aspens. The nights bleed chill blue fingers through the windowpanes. I wake up to heavy sunrises shining through the turning leaves. They tell me there will be color here, the trees breathing their final breaths laced in red and gold.



I’ve been here in winter once before, and I know what to expect. It snows here, changing this earth until it looks nothing like the browns and greens of an East Texas winter. The contrast is sharp, white snow lining black asphalt shining darkly in the streetlights. Branches struggle to leave their outlines against the heartless sky. Car windows carry ice. They tell me I’m going to need to find a jacket.

I’ve seen Colorado in many varied times of day through my walks as well-- watching my old friend Pike’s Peak in the distance shift from the sharp, clear outline of direct morning sunlight to the hazy, silhouetted shadow of itself at sunset.

There is a kind of raw beauty in each season at each hour of the day. I name it raw mostly because it is unshaped in our perception-- I can choose to pass the details with unseeing eyes, or I can choose to see it and let my heart’s posture shape it into something beautiful to me. I have spent a lot of time simply writing, writing down reasons why the world still holds the beautiful.

The concept of seeing our lives in terms of seasons is a cliche, but perhaps not a bad one. I am in a season now. The person I am now, the life I live in now, will not last. It had a distinct beginning, and it will have a distinct end. A year from now I will live a different season completely.

I am, as previously stated many times, an incurable pessimist. On the hot days this summer I often only felt the heat and glared at the sun instead of recognizing the way it so clearly defined the yellow and purple flowers I met on my way. On hazy days now, my first instinct is often to internally complain that I can’t see the mountains as clearly as I’d like. Similarly, there are a lot of things in my life right now that I can look at and simply dismiss as ugly-- my goal becomes to move on, seeing as little as possible, whispering to myself that it will all be over soon.

And yet... there is a part of me that understands that all this raw potential, all this loss and learning and heartache and change and friendship and fear and surrender and forgetting and faith, can be viewed through a different lens. It is a harsh season maybe, a season of a lot of contrasts and little relief-- but I have always said I found contrasts, blacks and whites, beautiful.


And so I find beauty in the season. In the fact that I get to sleep in 3 days a week and have hours every day where I can sing along with my music uninterrupted. In the fact that I can dye my hair blue if I choose, since no employer will set the limits of my appearance. Even in the fact that the things I have had to leave behind have taught me gratitude for the things I have now been given.

I also find beauty in the change, in that sense that the air is waking up, some new color is quivering beneath the surface of every leaf. I am changing. I will be changed. This is a season, but it is not a long one. The tension is to find beauty here while understanding also the beauty that is found even in its very transience. New beginnings are beautiful things also.

So in this season of wandering I will understand again the temporary nature of any sojourn. I will relearn the language of grace that sees the potential and realization of redemption in every moment. I will choose to see the sunrises as well as the midnight stars-- there is light in both. And as I wait for the change, I will allow myself to learn this time that that is beautiful also...

I wish I could change my mind. But I still feel the shame, I’m praying to leave the past behind. Oh, you’ve been holding on to the bitter burning-- forgive yourself and let the seasons turn.
- Jon Foreman

- Elraen -

2 comments:

Linda B said...

Pessimism is not incurable . . .

Eclectic Elegance said...

This...is why I adore Colorado. <3 You feel the clarity in the air and the sky like looking through a DSLR camera with infinite megapixels, especially in autumn. I am so, so blessed to have been able to live within the state of Colorado for almost ten years total now.