Tuesday, December 3, 2013

measuring seasons, measuring change

The weather is amazing in San Francisco. 50-70 degrees just about all the time. Pretty perfect. Only one wardrobe needed. I love it.

The only downside of this weather is that it gets hard to measure the seasons.

I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina where seasons gave form to our lives. They gave us a rhythm by which we knew what to expect next. Change was welcome because it wasn't TOO new, we experienced similar change last year and the year before. We knew that spring brought showers and flowers, summer brought mosquitos, humidity and thunderstorms, in fall the leaves would turn brown and fall to the ground and in winter the air would become brisk and snow and ice were due.

Now in San Francisco, I'm depending on other means of measuring the seasons.

Sports, for one. I know it's fall when football is on our television ALL.the.TIME. And then when it shifts to college basketball, I know we're into winter. Spring and Summer are dedicated to baseball…though I admit we don't watch it as much as football and basketball.

Food and coffee are another way to measure seasons. I love pumpkin and so I really love fall. I know it is the fall season in SF when the coffee shops bust out their pumpkin spice. Then there is a big shift right before thanksgiving to winter holiday themes (gingerbread, caramel, peppermint).

There are certainly seasons in my line of work. Sometimes they are tied to the church calendar (advent, christmas, lent, easter, "ordinary" time). Though, most times I find they are unpredictable. A wave of new folks coming in, a wave of folks moving out. Passions and excitements for projects and movements that wax and wane. I'll admit it's a little unsettling and still takes me by surprise sometimes when the change occurs, though the change itself isn't bad. I'm ready for the "seasoning" that comes with more experience leading an organization where I can take these seasons in stride and even anticipate the next one to come. But for now, my rookie self will just enjoy the ride.

It's probably good for me to get used to surprises in shifting seasons. Helps me to let go of control I don't really have anyhow.

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