The change of seasons has finally hit me. I’m slower than most. I don’t know what exactly brought that stunning revelation to me this morning. It might have been the mental pre-Thanksgiving to do list that I woke up with. Thanksgiving? Did I miss Halloween. It may have been the rain soaked, “gore tex” clad bicycle commuter that I passed along the water. It might be the nearly naked beachside trees against the gray backdrop in view through my window. It was probably all of those including the very obvious tribute that Starbucks has paid to the impending Christmas season. Although here in the land of denial, we call it “the holiday” season. Wouldn’t want to offend.
Anyway, I’m not lamenting, I do after all love living where the seasons change. I know many of you living elsewhere have heard that Seattle only has two seasons; rainy season and the fourth of July. That’s a load of crap. It doesn’t really rain here as much as rumored and it almost always does on the fourth. I love the change and I love Fall the most. It might be the artist in me that appreciates the color and variety of creation. It might be the cynic in me that appreciates the approaching of winters death. It’s more likely the glutton in me that appreciates turkey and pie and candy and cookies. My yearly tune up has advised me to pace myself though. Cholesterol. Maybe I’ll forget it and ask Santa for lipitor this season.
I’ve also changed seasons in my Monday morning routine. I’m back where I started, kind of like the cycle of seasons I guess. I’ve come home to Starbucks, even without the free wi-fi. I took nearly an 18 month break to follow a friend and my daughter through the land of caffeine competition. They’re both on to bigger and better now. The personality and atmosphere are gone now and so am I. They might not have free wi-fi here, which I’d like to go on record as a crime, but they do have atmosphere. Given the choice between the two, I choose atmosphere.
Seasons keep me humble. They usually occur without my timing and without my control and sometimes without my approval. They are part of families, friendships, and careers. They mandate adjustment and growth and sometimes, if I allow it, time to reflect and just remember. I am humbled to drift back over seasons and call up images of times when I thought that time would stand still and hold that moment forever, only then to come back to the present and realize that said moment will stand in time only as a memory. I’ve left friends there. I’ve left childhood there, mine and my children’s. There are baseball games, summer jobs, college friends, coworkers, weddings, funerals and birthdays. They are only memories now. I don’t say “only” lightly though as I also know that each of those moments and memories led me to today in this chair by the window, slowly sipping over priced coffee….the cup warns me that this is a “hot” beverage after all. I appreciate the extra awareness.
If I’ve learned anything from Starbucks, it is this; experience costs something. The seasons of life and the experiences that accompany them cost something. I may consider myself to be inherently cheap, however, for the experience of sailing on the seasons of my life, I’d spare no expense.