This week was the first time I started to feel the change in the seasons. We had a much cooler day earlier in the week, combined with bright sunshine, that gave a distinct feeling of the start of a new school year. I took a shorter walk over lunch that day, and while taking in the exquisite elements of the weather, wrote down a whole flood of memories that this kind of season change brings:
I’m reminded of the feeling of walking onto the campus of my local community college in this same sort of weather – brisk, yet with warm sunshine. Along come thoughts of that new TI-83+ graphing calculator, the distinct smell from the inside pockets of my orange rolling backpack/bag, the taste of squashed peanut butter and sugar sandwiches I used to bring for my lunch. I can still recall the sights and sounds of the crowded cafeteria tables where I sat alone to eat those sandwiches, all while thinking about the last class or the interesting people I had met.
The sunshine brings back memories of the sunny afternoons looking over the still-green grass on the grounds of the campus from the stillness of a second-floor study room where I was doing homework, or drafting a paper, or perhaps memorizing scripture1. Those study rooms hold fond memories for me; of nervousness at starting out on those first classes all alone, with ambitious plans of staying organized and following the syllabus, yet deep down knowing that the drearier days of winter would bring a time when all I could hope to do was cram for the next test and try to survive.
There is so much anticipation of new learning, change, opportunities, and excitement in this time of the year, and I still love the memories it brings back from different times of my life. The college days are somehow quite vivid, my childhood is becoming more faded, and recent memories as a married man with a job, wife, and kids are rapidly turning into a blur. It feels like the season change for me today doesn’t carry with it the tangible excitement and anticipation it once did. Instead there’s the realization that I’m simply doing the same thing I was yesterday, just with different weather outdoors. But the change in the weather brings back all the memories of the past in an instant.
I guess that’s why I like to get out in nature during this time of the year and truly savor every little detail, enjoying the beauty of the experience. It’s a time to recall old memories and to make new ones. It’s a time of anticipation and even adrenaline; to step up to the plate and learn something new, or take on a bigger challenge. A perfect time to bask in the fantastic crispness of the cool combined with sunshine, and thank God for the glorious world that He has made, praising His goodness throughout all of life.
- My dad encouraged me to memorize scripture while I was in college, and I ended up memorizing the first five chapters of Revelation while pacing around in those study rooms. ↩