There's gonna be a change of seasons
Indian summer look around and it's gone
Why you wanna save the best for last?
We grow up so slowly and grow old so fast

I love the changing of the seasons. Even though it’s inevitable, I look forward to it each and every year with wide-eyed anticipation. There seems to be a sense of newness all about as nature goes about the job of replenishing itself.

You probably know the feeling or can see and sense it happening all around you. It starts outs kind of slow and subtle and sort of just sneaks up on you. Without even noticing it, the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Frisbees, baseballs and the aroma’s of backyard barbecues are slowly replaced by homework, footballs and the aroma’s of the crock pot.

The leaves on the trees begin to take on a myriad of different colors and there’s a certain nip that comes to the air as the sun sets in the evening sky. Soon, the dead leaves that are shed are gathered into piles to be whisked away or ground into mulch. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that they will return and that they will bloom again. In the morning, there’s a thin layer of frost that covers the grass and it crunches a little as you make your way across the lawn to the car on the way to work.

It’s a time when baggy sweaters and loose jackets take the place of t-shirts and shorts and when cups of something warm takes the place of the icy cold beverages that were consumed in order to ward off the heat of the summer. It’s a time for sitting under warm blankets on the porch and watching the world go by and when contemplation reigns. It’s a time when, on a good night, the sky turns a kind of mixture of blue and pink and orange and it looks as though you can see for miles.

We don't talk about forever
We just catch it while we can
And if I grab on to the moment
Don't let it slip away out of my hand

Seven years is a long time to wait for the seasons to change. It’s an especially long time if you count the minutes, hours and days between the times you and your loved ones were all gathered together in one place. How it got to be so long is another story for another day. In retrospect, even one day turns out to be one too many.

Suffice to say, we parted ways a long time ago. We were the after effects of an almost lethal combination of divorce, youth, stubbornness, and too many miles in-between. We barely talked, we rarely wrote, we turned ourselves into virtual strangers to each other. We are all to blame but the burden falls on me the most. I, after all, should have known better…

The E-mail came yesterday. The two girls who are not with me but were always in my thoughts, are making their way across the country towards Phoenix, Arizona. They’re leaving the hustle and bustle of New York City and getting ready to start off on a new life, one that I hope they embrace and cherish for all that its worth. Their route takes them through my adopted hometown and they asked if they could come by and stay for spell. In a testament to their youth, they have no specific timetable and no strict itinerary to follow. There was no question in my mind. I told them via reply to stay as long as they like and to just get here safely.

This will mark the first time in over seven years that I have all three of my girls and myself gathered together under one roof. I’m hoping the years will magically melt away. I’m wondering what changes the girls have brought with them and what changes I might bring to the table. I’m wondering what the hugs, if there are any, will feel like. Will they be stiff and stilted or will they be warm and comforting like the blanket that one drapes around themselves on a chilly night?

Did you see the march to freedom?
Did you ever see savannah moon?
All the people walking in a line
said to the man, is it my time?

Yes, the seasons are changing and with each change comes a time for renewal and a time for growth. There comes a time to reflect on days gone by and to anticipate the days to come. I hope we all can sense that and that the change in all of us will be for the better and the changes that we make will last.

The timing of their arrival, although much too late, seems somehow exquisite. It coincides with the subtle changes going on all around us. Yes, the leaves have fallen from the trees but I’m hoping that they will return and bloom stronger than ever and that I will always look upon them with a sense of awe and sense of wonder.

We will look, we will listen, we will learn.

(Note: all lyrics taken from Robbie Robertson and Aaron Neville's fine song titled "What About Now" from the album "Storyville". © 1991,1988 Medicine Hat Music adm. by EMI April Music Inc. ASCAP/PRI Songs, Inc./Sunset Beach Music BMI)

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