272 Seasons

272  are how many seasons that have come and went over the course of my short life. Each season brings changes that reflect both the weather and the time frame in which it occurred.

One of my favorite musicals, “Fiddler on the Roof” has a beautiful song that speaks of  the seasons morphing into Sunrises and Sunsets. Written in 1964 by composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick, “Sunrise, Sunset” speaks of the calendar of life.

“Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don’t remember growing older. When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall? Wasn’t it yesterday that they were small?

Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly flow the days, Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, Blossoming even as they gaze

Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly fly the years, One seasons following another, Laden with happiness and tears, One season following another, Laden with happiness and tears…Sunrise, Sunset.”

Our ability to look back through the decades of our lives reflects a common theme. No matter how good or how bad the times were, they change swiftly, like the seasons. Each season is memorable in the victories and defeats we experience. Sometimes one season can change us for a lifetime.

Marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a parent or close friend, changes us like the seasons we bask in.  We can feel when Winter is coming or the first bloom of Spring, lifting our spirits because of the warmth of the sun.

As we grow older and we’re not in such a regimented existence, time seems to speed up. The regimentation begins in Kindergarten moving through College and then into a job. All these elements of discipline require a time schedule.

It seems that for most people the discipline of organizational structure relies on patterns. The pattern of time, meals, routes, and scheduled time off. The Hamster wheel is very comfortable for most. Switching off the thought process to navigate as a robot affords most the luxury of a comfort zone.

Unfortunately our lives are relatively short. This means that for most people experiencing the thrill of life’s adventures becomes uncomfortable because this breaks the routine of self-inflicted patterns.

If we are goal oriented and soldier ahead with the end game in mind we can find that experiencing the thrill of life’s adventures is our reward. This honors both sides of the spectrum, routine and adventure.

I’ve had to think about the seasons that were the most reflective and thought provoking. In addition to life and death situations it is the change of circumstance that brings to light the abstract and the actual. Sometimes we envision a place or person will enhance life’s beautiful orb of possibility.

As a child we believe anything is possible. We dream of castles in the stars or far off lands to explore. As we get older most listen to the negativity from others that keeps forming a box around our mind. It’s easier not to try then to try and be defeated.

However, most people will agree that our greatest lessons come from our defeats. If we don’t repeat that same mistake we can grow as a person and become much more affective in determining what our future life can be.

With the sunrise, it’s about jumpstarting the day with purpose and a hearty dose of optimism. With the sunset, it’s about slowing down and savoring life’s flavors, recognizing that every day is a unique blend of sweet and savory.

Each season we experience is an expression of God painting from a pallet that brings nature to life. I see the Daffodils and Tulips ushering in Spring and the birth of wildflowers cascading across meadows with color and scent.

As Summer approaches and the Spring rains have mostly drawn their seasonal curtain until Winter, we now relish the activities of Summer. Boating, hiking, camping, and picking the berries that surround us for the pies we so look forward to devouring. This becomes a season full of life.

Farther from the beginning than the end our seasonal curtain will at some point be drawn. The many memories will be but a foot note in a life that dreamed big (not always succeeding, but never giving up).

Keeping our word through-out those 272 seasons becomes one of the most important aspects related to success. Internally, if your word is your contract you can live through each season with the tranquility that comes with a decision your parents instilled in you when you were young.

The strength that comes with peace of mind can make any season a beautiful adventure. Then we can behold the wonder of discovery and the expansion of horizons never thought possible but achieved by the greatest distance we’ll ever travel… the distance between our ears.




Spring has Sprung

It’s beautiful to watch the changing of the seasons. When you experience four seasons it seems we really appreciate the many different flora and fauna that pass our way.

Each season highlights the migratory patterns of the turkeys, elk, deer, and a myriad of other animals, birds, and insects. The preparation for each season is highlighted by the sky clearing or clouding over to reveal rain, snow, stars, the moon, or the sunlight that exposes all.

As Spring approaches and blooms into flowers of various colors I am reminded of the pallet God paints. Bright yellow Lupin flowers engage the landscape which explodes into the exodus of winter.

I watch the turkeys with their matting dances that occur during the spring months. The flowering tails of the tom turkeys as they attempt to allure the hens is a beautiful exhibition of theater. The tom turkeys typically have a harem of many hens they lead around their territory.

The gobbling sound of the turkeys ward off other turkeys and make humans aware of their presence. In the silence that surrounds us we hear their calls along with the deer and sometimes the elk.

This wild kingdom is short lived as each species has a relatively short shelf life. Somewhere between 4-6 years is the average life span. However, in their glory they can fly, jump, or run with an uncanny athleticism.

Prior to living in Idaho I had never seen a wild turkey. Their skinny legs and imposing wing span are a contradiction in anatomical proportion. As they weave their way through the brush and timberland it seems they are very wary of predators or unwelcome humans.

There is an abundance of plants for these herbivores to feast on. From the tall grass, flowers that bloom in waves, or even the plants unsuspecting humans plant for beauty… only to see them devoured.

Brown ferns have shed their winter cloak wielding a green blanket of beauty. Now the weather is gradually changing from temperatures in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s to the much preferred 60’s and 70’s.

It really seems like a heat wave when we feel the warmth of spring that sends winter away. However, in Idaho, because of the complicated topography of the land, the weather can change in a heartbeat.

From sun, to clouds, to rain, the day is filled with a brush stroke of uncertainty.  It’s difficult to know how to dress… but the magic of the colors in the sky make the question of dress a moot point. A temperature swing of maybe 10 degrees is not enough for drastic measures.

Spring is the season of dramatic change. Each month as we edge towards summer provides us with blankets of different colored wildflowers. Yellow lupin disappear as bluets, lobelia, and larkspur cover the meadows with their blue color and almost honeysuckle scent.

This is the perfect season for hiking. The smell of winter is still in the air which provides a canopy of cool with temperatures in the reasonable range between 65 and 80. Around the corner is the month for boating, swimming, and other water sports.

Spring is the unveiling of the shroud of winter. Blooming of everything is beautiful yet unnerving for those that have allergies. I hear the echoes of sneezes and the cacophony of noses blowing their trumpet song. This, across the canyon we look to with few homes, but many noses.

This season is the season for planting vegetable and herb gardens. It’s also the season for pulling weeds to make room for the plants that unfortunately don’t grow like weeds.

Today we are pulling weeds. I think back to sitting on a hill with my dad pulling weeds and thinking of any excuse to extricate myself from that dreaded chore. We did have some wonderful conversations that I look back on and miss. It’s funny how time changes our perspective on life.

Anyway, life is a collection of events that shape our present circumstance. Each step we take seems like a small journey towards our future. But, just like the changing of the seasons we can enjoy the expedition and look to what lays ahead.