Change comes, so enjoy it

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

There was a gently sway to the tops of the trees down by the lake as I opened my sliding glass door and let the fresh fall air rush in. I felt the breeze as it brushed by me, stirring the blinds on its way into the kitchen.

The mornings this week held a promise of things to come, cooler weather as the season changes.

It is like Mother Nature is announcing, "Changes are coming, get ready."

"It's getting down to 59 tonight," I said to my husband. "That will feel good, kind of cool."

He smiled and nodded as he swept away the brown oak leaves that accumulate on the deck this time of year.

The centerpiece on my dining room table went from a basket of greenery to an arrangement with the golds, oranges and deep burgundies of fall. A wreath of colorful leaves hangs on the front door.

As I surveyed my flower beds, where there is one last burst of blooms going on, I thought about season changes and transitions.

Just like my plants, I am making the transition from my summer way of life, shifting into a different mode. And I am ready for the change. In fact, I am always ready for the start of a new season. By the time autumn rolls around, summer has worn out her welcome with me.

When the wind turns from cool to cold, I'll be ready for that too, with a fire in the fireplace and hot chocolate on the stove.

Life, it seems to me, is a lot like the seasons. We transition from one stage to another. Youth becomes adulthood then middle age and finally we arrive at that golden time we call the senior years.

Watching the leaves swirl in the wind, I decided I am in the fall period of my life, not quite old but a bit past young.

It is a time of transition, of looking at life from a different place and I'm finding that it is a nice place to be. Things that seemed so important a few years ago don't get as much attention.

These days I take the time to watch trees sway on a fall morning and I think about all of the seasons that brought me to this day. A lot of breezes blew me to this place, some of them kind, some of them fierce.

Still, I like it here. I appreciate the things I learned with the passing seasons and I look forward to what lies ahead.

That seems like the best way to approach the future because as surely as fall changes to winter, life moves us ahead.

It's like the lyrics in the Mary Chapin Carpenter song that say life has three speeds - fast, slow and stall - there is no reverse.

"It's funny we will feel different about it getting to 59 at night in a few months," I said to my husband.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Well in about six months we will be looking forward to it only getting down to 59," I said. "That will feel warm after a long winter."

When it comes time for that change, I'll be ready. Until then, I'm content to enjoy the cool breezes as they blow me through another season of my life.