Packing Away Summer

English: The Eliot Bridge over the Charles Riv...

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.