Say Goodbye to Each Season

I’m not talking about House of the Dragon, although, if the early reviews are any indication, that too will require getting ourselves together until season two arrives. The seasons I mean are the ones you can watch simply by looking out your window. Today, I saw the first leaf drop from the big maple tree across the street. Fall is officially here.

There is something magical about spring blossoming into summer, summer stepping aside for autumn, and winter softly covering fall with snow. It’s as if we had cast a collective spell to transform the air, and with it, our spirits also change. Despite our not playing an active role in it, the passage of seasons is worth acknowledging.

Maybe you’ll come up with a little ritual, like lighting a candle on the first day of each quarter, or the first time you see a flower blossom, a person eating ice cream, a leaf or snow fall. Maybe you’ll write a diary entry, treat yourself to a season-themed meal, or spend a day outdoors. The point is to participate in life without letting nature yank it right by you in front of your eyes.

It doesn’t take much to do this. As long as you’re present, really there for the new season’s arrival, a single moment can be enough. “Wow. Okay. It’s no longer time for shorts. I guess fall is truly here.” Then, you can start asking questions.

“What did I do this summer? How do I want to spend the winter? What should be my theme for the spring?” Acknowledging the shifting tide of seasons makes us more resilient to the passage of time. Instead of waking up five years later, wondering where it went, we get to check in with ourselves every three odd months or so. “Ah! I do have some control here. I can change what I’m doing.”

There’s room for gratitude too. For nostalgia. For calling a friend and saying, “You know what? That was a great spring of working out together once a week.” Most of all, however, saying hello and goodbye to nature’s seasons will make it easier to do the same for the seasons of our own lives.

It takes conscious effort to switch from being a family man to working really hard on your business or vice versa. You can neglect your health for a while to hang out more with friends, but eventually, you’ll need to return to taking care of yourself regularly. If you’re already used to greeting and sending off spring, summer, fall, and winter, you’ll more easily reorder your priorities when it’s time to do so — and those times tend to find us more often than we expect.

Open your window. Look outside. What season is it? And how can you best savor life while it lasts?