As we move around the globe and meet people physically or virtually, it becomes clear that everyone is experiencing the world from their corner. Before this journey, unless I was traveling to a drastically different climate, it never really registered that something as predictable as a season was only predictable from my perspective.
- When I lived in Australia as an exchange student in High School, I spent a hot and sticky Christmas missing winter in Seattle.
- When my husband lived in Hawaii during college he got used to organizing around the wet and dry seasons.
- As a spectacular solar eclipse kicked off spring in Europe, our readers in New Zealand were settling into fall and started to feel the wind cool the landscape.
- A friend wrote to us from Mexico about how much she “missed the seasons.”
This week, as we sat down with our publisher to hash out the conceptual stages of our first book, I realized something pivotal. I assumed that we would organize the book by seasons because that was the organizing factor of our life and our journey to date. It struck me as we were brainstorming that some geographic locations don’t have a word for fall and in other places, the months I associate with ripe berries and summer ice cream parties, are for others the deepest, darkest days of winter.
Seasons are very real but that reality changes as we move about the globe. Just as this awareness was settling in around me, I received two very different emails. One was from a dear friend that is dying of cancer and the other was from someone equally dear that is waiting to give birth any day now. They were both updating me on their status and without even knowing it, shifting my perspective of the world. I recognize this concept is not new as Ecclesiastes’ sentiments have echoed for generations through sermons and songs,
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot … ~Book of Ecclesiastes
Although the sentiment is not new, I have just now realized that something as tangible as changing leaves in autumn, burning sand in summer, frosty trees in winter, and the force of bulbs in spring, is only real because of my association. The cycle of all living things is dependent on perspective and experience. Instead of projecting my beliefs about even something like what spring should feel like, I hope to be quiet long enough to experience the season wherever I am, in a way that is real to whomever I meet.
To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn. ~ Pete Seeger