Old mattresses, chairs, small tables and boxes line the streets of Allston and Cambridge as the summer ends and fall begins. Fall brings thousands of students to the Boston area every year to attend the many colleges and universities that offer high school and college graduates bachelors and masters degrees, ranging from International Relations to Turf Grass Management(Really – I’m not kidding). The traffic is outrageous and it is not unusual for cars to take an hour to go 2 miles. During that hour the verbal abuse that is tossed around the streets would make a sailor blush.
Fall is beginning and summer is packed away. It’s a lot of packing. Slower pace, more time to read, longer days, and warmth of body and soul are wistfully put into boxes that will sit, hibernating as it were, through the fall and winter and begin itching to get out come spring.
When I first moved to the East coast after living in Cairo, I was unused to seasons and did not like them. Every September I would panic and begin to feel paralyzed when I anticipated first fall, then brutal winter where ice, snow and cold enveloped my world. I anticipated these changes so far in advance, imagining the very worst winters and muddiest springs, that I made myself crazy. My mother has often said, and I have probably quoted before in earlier posts:
God never gives you grace for your imagination. He gives you grace for the real thing!
As I pack away summer this year, both figuratively and literally, with sleeveless shirts and sandals going into an under bed container, and our cottage in Rockport being rented to strangers, I am encouraged by my lack of paralysis. I’m actually ok with this. I don’t completely dread winter, anticipating all the bad parts. I can’t wait for the crisp days of fall with its ever-changing colors of green, gold, orange and red and the fashion choices that were not possible living in warmer climates. In short, I’m learning really slowly about grace for the real deal and realizing that my imagination can make life far worse than it actually is.
- A Pack of Potential and a Cute Pair of Shoes (communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com)
- Memories of an Expatriate 4th of July (communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com)
9 thoughts on “Packing Away Summer”
God never gives you grace for your imagination. He gives you grace for the real thing! Love that!
The first lesson in life, LIsten to your mother!
Funny thing about imagination is how it becomes hostage to all our fears. Or are they totally different things fears and imagination?
I think the fears you mention in your comment are quite common to us all. The possibility of loss of all kinds does prey on the mind. I guess this is where the trust comes in. Trusting in God to take care of us and all that we really cannot watch constantly.
Things like adapting to a different climate, different place makes us so much stronger and often what looks like a bad thing in the beginning actually makes us better than we were and in retrospect never looks bad at all.
Pari – I am going to use this in my reader responses. I had never thought of imagination as becoming hostage. The word picture is a perfect description of what it is like. And trying to constantly control makes us crazy and exhausted. Thanks yet again for your wisdom.
the thought of imagination being held hostage only came to me as i was reading your words
I love that line about Grace!!
I have a hard time packing away summer myself. I do love fall and it’s the final treat before winter sets in, which I dread every year. This year I’m going to try to find the best in each season and fun things to look forward to rather than wish the time away!
Stephanie – thanks for reading – exactly my thoughts. Also great blog you have! Just took a look.
LOVE Aunt Polly’s saying! Can I still it when I need it?
Oh absolutely – you can only imagine how many times I have used it through the years….when I’m attending my husbands funeral in my mind, when I’m in the unemployment line in my mind, when one of my children has had a terrible car accident in my mind….. Embarrassing to admit but so true! Can’t wait to see your folks this w/e – only wish you were there and that Tennessee was not so far away!