Summer’s End (or: Why going back to school sometimes hurts)

Summer's end (Photo: CKirgiss)
Summer’s end (Photo: CKirgiss)

Classes started today at the university where I teach. Classes started last week in the local K-12 public schools and the week before that in the Big City just down the road from me.

But it’s 83 degrees outside today and (says my weather app) the heat will last for several weeks. The flowers are still in bloom. The frogs are still symphonizing every night.  My garden still needs regular weeding.

The timing on this seems all wrong.

But timing in life is rarely predictable and is often surprising. A month ago, Christmas decorations and supplies suddenly appeared in the craft stores. Back-to-school supplies have already been displaced by Halloween candy. Somewhere an Easter rabbit is poised and ready to spring free from its storage space.

It makes my head spin. The discombobulated rhythm of the seasons, holidays, months, and days (for which we can heartily thank Madison Avenue) makes everything seem just a bit off kilter. I shouldn’t see Santa before the harvest is in. I shouldn’t see Halloween candy before school starts. And I shouldn’t see “School is in session” signs until summer is over. Which it isn’t.

Meh.

Thankfully, above and beyond and around and behind and under all of the topsy-turvy calendric nonsense is God’s soft whisper, reassuring me that there is a time for everything that truly matters and season for everything of eternal value. That’s more than any of us deserves and is quite enough to soothe my frazzled sense of annual rhythm back into a place of peace and contentment.

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