couple sitting on porch

At the risk of sounding like a slowing down old geezer, I will admit that one of my favorite things to do this time of year is sit on the front porch with my wife and watch the sparrows, finches, doves, cowbirds, and various other warblers visit our feeders and poke around in the yard. It is an opportunity to leave the phones in the house and chat while listening to avian choirs. Spring and early Summer are just fantastic with the warmer/hot days and cool nights. This year has been really unusual with warmer afternoons followed by lightning shows, heavy rains and then cool air. Like the old saying about Texas climate, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few hours!”

It won’t be long before the dog days of Summer begin and the only way to be outside during the afternoon is if you are in water. However, on our porch, there is a piece of equipment we have named “Jack.” I have no idea why my wife personified an evaporative cooler, but there you go. Even on the hottest days, we can sit on the porch with Jack and stay cool. One blink later and Fall is going to roll back around. As the footballs start flying again, many of us will consistently wonder when the temperatures will start falling along with the multi-colored leaves. Eventually, the highs will be yesterdays lows and the lows will require a jacket, the leaves will be gone and the grass will be brown. A quarter-turn and we will be planning for Easter.

The seasons come and go quickly and each change in the cycle brings its’ own opportunities.  Before July hits we can eat on the patio of our favorite restaurant while enjoying our favorite cold drink. This is a great time for water parks and lazy rivers (I would suggest Waco), Florida’s’ beaches, watermelon, early morning strolls and evening bike rides. This is also a wonderful time to slow down, enjoy the kids and recharge the batteries. Soon, the days will still be hot but the evenings will cool down and it will be time to place pumpkins on top of a bale of straw. Hot drinks and warm soup will start sounding a lot better and foliage tours to the Northeast will be tempting. Turn around and the fireplace will crackle either with wood or an electronic simulation, and hoodies with thick socks will be the ticket. Toboggins and hot chocolate around a fire-pit will encourage good books and down-time. Before-you-know-it, the trees will bud, the robins will be all over your yard, it will be time to plant the early onions, and pastels will be back in fashion.

Every season has its special opportunities. That is not only true of the seasons of the year but also of the seasons of life. My old pappy was right, “The older you get, the faster the years go.”  When one of my daughters graduated high school, I sang the song “Turn Around” to her at worship.

“Where are you going my little one? Little one

Where are you going, my baby, my own?

Turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four

Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of the door.”

I strongly encourage you to slow down during each season of the year as a method of slowing down each season of life. Bask in every moment. Learn in every trial. Celebrate in every season. Make memories at every turn. Don’t wish your moments away looking ahead to the next event. Try not to just live without enjoyment, pause and purpose. The seasons come and go and before you know it the cycle has turned 80 or so times and the story is winding down. Every season is special. Growing up was wonderful wasn’t it? Someone once told me that High School years were the greatest of life. I hope not! They were just the greatest so far. College was great.  Early marriage? Good stuff but man it was hard! Babies! I would give a lot to be able to spend another day with each of my children as three-year-olds. Professions! Finding a passion and answering a call is fantastic. Events! Watching your kids participate in athletics and dance and recitals and academics is the best. Anniversaries seem to come once a month. Vacations!  College! Taking your kids to college is one of the more bittersweet activities we experience.  Empty nest! Retirement! Old age! Single again. The list is large.

Just last night my wife and I were sitting on the porch. Our son is in Denton. Our oldest daughter is in Mansfield. The child of my old age is about to move to Lubbock and last night she was with friends. As normal, we were on the porch chatting, listening to birds, watching rabbits and squirrels and sharing a glass of wine. Words are really not always required anymore but we know a new season is upon us. It’s gonna be a good one with uncharted territories that we will experience together. We have had some tough days but we have had more wonderful times and made great memories however, we can’t stay stuck in the past. In the future, hopefully, there will be trips and cabins, a smaller house in the woods, grandkids, and holidays with the children all home. But, although the past was great and the future is hopeful, I don’t want to miss today. I want to enjoy Summer, experience life’s transitions, share time with a few more people, enjoy all the folks at CK and bask in grace today.