Friday, May 04, 2007

Seasons

When I moved out here to Podunk, I was the only new kid in the school. The rest of the kids had been together since Kindergarten. Needless to say, it was a little tough to make new friends.

But, in the years since, more and more people have been moving into the area. And we’ve seen a lot of out of state plates. A surprising amount from California. I want to scream to them “Turn around! Go back from whence you came!” to save them the trouble of first winters and mosquitoes the size of small birds. At the same time, I have to admire them because those of us that are smart spend a good season of our lives in California, but get out before we become jaded and oblivious to the realness of life on the outside of permanent sunshine and perfect weather.

There was a song back in about 99 or so that talked about living in SoCal once, but leaving before it makes you soft, and I think that’s really true. When you spend a long time there, things that normal people deal with every day become foreign. You become accustomed to breaking out the winter coats when the temperature dips below 60 degrees. You become unappreciative of the history and architecture surrounding the missions and museums. And of the size and organization of things like the Wild Animal Park and the San Diego Zoo.

So while part of me screams at them to get out while they still can, another part of me wants to tell them how much more appreciative one becomes of the things we take for granted when we get a glimpse of the “outside world”. We can appreciate the time we spent there, and hold it up on a pedestal for the whole world to see. But we can also hold it in our hearts as a great time in our lives, both grateful for the opportunity and thankful to be out of there.

Because when you’ve been there and are gone, you don’t have to remember the things like hostage situations that didn’t let you get home to your mom. Or two hour commutes that are only 20 miles long. Or not being able to find a place on the beach to park your towel. You can instead appreciate the days when you cruised down the PCH with the windows down and music blaring. And when you lucked out and found your own little piece of sand that no one else knew existed. You can close your eyes and see the sunsets without remembering that time you sat on a red ant hill.

A friend reminded me this week that there are seasons of life and “you can do anything for a season.” And she’s right. So, I’m looking at this whole mini van business as a season. One which will not last forever. That will serve its purpose and not be all pretty and perfect. But I’ll look back on it years from now and remember only the good things about it. And maybe—just for a minute—I’ll long for the days of mini vans and spilled juice. Then I’ll roll the top down on my Mustang and appreciate the new season too.

5 comments:

Desiree said...

Remembering life in 'seasons' does help us keep perspective.

Friglet said...

I have to admit, I've lived in other states and I can't handle it. I don't like bugs, or being cold, or pollen, or humidity.

I'm a wimp and I totally admit it!

Molly said...

I've traveled and stayed in California a lot and it is really lovely there, I can understand why you would miss it.

And I think you are going to look tres chic in your new minivan!!

Battlerocker said...

I adore California. I'd go back in a heart beat, whatever the season. But the perspective is good.

jenn said...

very well written and so, so true!
I'll have many wonderful seasons to look back on and be grateful that I had a spilled juice season in the mix.

Today I wouldn't trade my current season for anything!