Four seasons exist in an entire year. This is seen all over the world, which is one thing we all share in common. We all experience spring, summer, fall and winter. While we notice how the environment changes from blooming trees to fallen leaves, do we notice common situations that happen around us? It has been written many times the symbolism behind seasons, but I’m not sure how much we notice the patterns of life that encircle us each day. The situation is different, but each season was, is and has always been the same. The seasons speak to us…and we need to pay attention especially in 2020.
Growing up in Kentucky, I can remember the brutal winters. Snow would cover every sidewalk and driveway until we could not recognize the surface outside. It all felt the same. How did we figure it out? As a neighborhood community, we would walk on foot to people’s houses and help shovel out snow from driveways so cars could drive out with ease and not slip up on black ice. “Black ice” was a winter curse word because it could cause wrecked cars that look like giant sized shriveled up soda cans. Or wose…black ice wold even take lives. However, that was not always the worst part of winter.
For me, the worst part was the ice storm back in college. The year was…February of 2003 or 2004. The ice was so heavy on the electric poles that it nearly shut down the entire city. The power and electricity went out in hotels and stores. My family knew what that meant. I remember my dad saying after 24 hours our house would grow cold and we would need candles, long johns to layer our sweaters, and more importantly a fireplace to keep us warm. Without warmth, our bodies would freeze. I never experienced this before, and I was scared. After nearly two days, we drove to a neighbors house and slept in front of the fireplace. Imagine seven people curled up in front of a fire to stay warm. My father or our neighbor Mr. Edwards would keep replenishing the wood to keep the fire blazing. I will never forget how cold my body was with all the sweater layers and fire that stayed lit. I could never stay warm enough. I was only home for a few days, but had to return back to college. I was worried for my family knowing they had to figure this out. They made it through to the spring, but it was not pleasant.
When I lived in Atlanta, I encountered a similar incident. Coincidentally, we had an ice storm around the same month in 2009 or 2010. I was in my own apartment, when we had to call off work because of a bad ice storm. While Atlanta did not always get brutal winters, this was the worst one in awhile. Because of the Kentucky winters, I knew what to do. I went to the store and grabbed lots of food and water to last a couple of weeks. The shelves were scarce because the trucks were not able to deliver their normal inventory because of the ice storm. Cars were stuck on the side of roads and I had to be instructed by a neighbor how to drive through the black ice on the only road that was “driveable”. I made it as far as the leasing office but could not drive up the hill to my apartment after seeing stranded cars that made failed attempts. I parked my car at the leasing office and left a note on my dashboard. It said “Please do not tow my car! The black ice will not allow me to drive up the hill”. I took my groceries with me and made it work slipping and sliding up this icy hill. However…I made it up the hill with my food. I had the best burgers and relaxed time just staying at home until I had to go work. I was leary because Atliens do not know how to drive in ice…but I made it. I was prepared for what could happen in a winter season like this after dealing with worse. This is something everyone needs to give heed too.
This had been a very hard blog to write because I knew I wanted to talk about patterns, but it did not only consist of talking about relationship patterns. This originally started out with the song “Cycles” by Jonathan Reynolds, but I began to see more beyond romanticships. I think everyone has witnessed human behavior enough when it comes to love to know how it can possibly turned out. I have witnessed this and expressed to a friend about a pattern that was occurring with a predictable entanglement. We both knew this would not end well and could get messy, but it is up to my friend to figure it out. Not only that, I’ve been in a similar entanglement and warned this would not end well. The patterns we see around us this year is more than just relationship patterns. There are worldly patterns occurring where people really need to stop, watch, take note and prepare for what’s ahead.
I started out talking about winter, because it’s a season symbolic of death. Almost all of the tree branches have no leaves except for pine trees and related tree families. Leaves have been raked up during the fall which is what I call a season of warning because you see the changing colors. The grass and leaves are no longer green, but either a pale yellow, red or dark brown. It’s extremely beautiful to see the transition, but it is just an active adjective. It is a temporary change to warn you these things will not always be here. In Washington, D.C., it never fails how much cooler the breeze is after Labor Day Weekend. You can still walk out in shorts, but you might need a light jacket in the early mornings and evenings. People travel places where the beaches are around 24/7 even during the pandemic to enjoy what is left knowing in America the weather will be different. Also, the unfortunate infamous forest fires in California along with heavy rain seasons in southern parts of America such as Florida plays a part in the seasonal transitions. Many make it through without severe house floodings, and some have to retreat to someone else’s house and review their flood insurance because this…always happens. Summers are fun times on the beach, yet 2020 beaches and pools were shut down for a period of time because of COVID-19 and was short lived. Last but not least, spring always signifies new beginnings. It’s what I call a new kind of happiness. New trees, new leaves, new grass sprouting effortlessly…yet 2020 was a bit different. Spring was almost nonexistent here! Many people may have enjoyed it, but I did not. Diseases thrive more in warm seasons than cold seasons. Because I have allergies, I have to prepare for a quick transition without constant nasal and throat phlegm. It’s not pleasant!
As I get older, I notice the winters are not as brutal as they used to be. In fact, there was not much of a winter at all. Just a light dusting of snow in DC, a nonexistent spring and a very early summer. Seasons help prepare us for other phases of life but not many people were prepared for what the entire world experienced! From the death of Kobe Bryant to many other unexpected deaths on account of COVID-19 and other diseases that are still prevalent. Not only that, but the closing of infamous businesses to the higher rise in unemployment. How great was that for 2020? I’m sure many of you know and have experienced this situation or are currently living in job hunts and emotional grievances. It’s a lot to deal with not knowing exactly what to prepare for this season.
The only thing I can caution you to do is to continue pay attention to the seasons and prepare for anything. Not just the four seasons, but the seasons in our lives right now. While we have somehow been able to cope and survive the best way we know how, others are still struggling over those who did not survive. This includes myself-I have learned many life lessons to NOT repeat for the coming seasons. Others I will have to pray for revelation about because I am completely unsure.After unexpected deaths of friends and loved ones (R.I.P. Jocelyn, Marcus, and Uncle Mike) in two weeks, this has caused me put my pen down in the midst of drafting this blog because there was and is so much going in my mind as I sit, listen and watch things happen. All it makes me do is question and prepare for a lot of things in my life. I remember writing in my journal that my friends will not be the same friends I had in 2019. I did not understand why, but I kept hearing “Sit back and watch.” Doing just that caused me to observe people I thought I knew along with current situations going on in the world.
This is not meant to stop you from enjoying your life. Enjoy it, but keep watch of everything going on in this world currently. Evaluate your season of life and keep watch of the patterns around you. Someone, or a lot of someone’s will learn from the patterns of life that you miss or ignore. Now is the perfect time to change what you see.