And so it’s finally fall. The first day of the season and I’m wondering, as I do this time every year, where did the summer go? It flew by. Especially when I’m working in the great outdoors and with the ground everyday, I’ve become hyper-sensitive to the variances in temperature, the path the sun travels as it lights the sky in the morning and casts creamy peach and blueberry streaks as it makes its exit in the evening, the rainy days, the windy days, the perfect days and then suddenly – the first day I see entire flocks of colored leaves carpeting the ground beneath me. And I know the year has entered its exiting stage.
he has made everything beautiful in its time. he has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what god has done from beginning to end” ecc 3:11
Where did the time go? Where does time go, and how? Surprisingly, there are different ways to measure even passing time.
Plants measure it in degree days: plants will only develop and grow when the temperature rises above a certain threshold and stays below a certain threshold, says 50F base temperature and 90F max temperature, and for a determined length of sunlight. Anywhere outside this arbitrary range and the plants’ development ceases. In fact, when you buy your seed packets and the back of the envelope says: “Will mature in 65-70 days,” it means that according the day length and temperature fluctuations in the area where the grower produced his seed crop, the average of all the crops’ maturity came in at 65-70 days. This is not a hard and fast rule and can vary extremely from place to place, climate to climate and your latitudinal placement.
As a transient and a traveller I have started measuring my time in relation to places: the last place I built a fire was in Kansas (April); the last time it snowed was in Colorado (May); the last time I got a haircut I was still living in North Carolina (March); it was in Canada that had my first truly hot, hot summer day (July); I had already lived in 6 different places by the time the first strawberries were ripe this year (August, for me); before the farmers markets opened I was in both Kansas and Colorado (April and May); it was Colorado when the asparagus began to come on; when I was in love it was Kansas, Colorado and Montana; when I was brokenhearted it was Canada and Washington.
when the times are good, be happy; but when the times are bad, consider: god has made the one as well as the other ecc 7:14
Sometimes I remember different times in books, I remember different emotions and situations I was working out in my head during the time I was reading certain books and authors. Often I measure time in friendships and relationships: back when my sister and I fought a lot, then when we started getting along and were going out on date nights together; that period when I felt really popular in middle school; when I grew apart from all of my friends ( that was the last year of highschool); when my relationship with my parents finally started righting itself (not too long after I left home the first time); when I went through that really long period of just wanting to be autonomous and on my own for everything.
encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness heb 3:13
A period can feel like a fleeting moment when you can look back on it as a passing stage or a few steps along the path to who you are now.
jesus christ is the same yesterday, today and forever heb 13:8
Maybe summer always seems to pass by so quickly because of the higher temperatures. They do everything from making your hair and nails grow faster to speeding up your body’s metabolism. And the longer hours of sunlight can give you reason and ability to pack more things into your days, and how busy-ness makes time fly! Maybe we feel invincible in the summer because the weather is going our way, school is out and the harvest is plentiful with abounding choices. Then when fall puts its foot down we’re awakened to the fact that the earth, seasons and time continue to march on – whether the pace be steady, hurried or paused.
….a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak….. ecc 3
Whether you want to measure time in tree rings, variegated rock faces, digital numbers or second hands, don’t forget to look beyond and above those things, to where you’re standing now. What’s happening with the weather outside right now? What are your best friends doing today? How can you most experience what you’ve been given today? Appreciate these things. Not living in the past and not living for what might happen can be hard, painful or scary, but if the peace and satisfaction that comes with living where you are and what you are right now can be tapped, it’s a tribute to your faith. And believe me, building a strong faith takes time.