When asked which of the four seasons is my favorite, I don’t hesitate.
Autumn. This time of the year.
Just not where I live.
Central Florida has been burdened with high temperatures for months. The ridiculous humidity that tops off 90-degree weather feels like a sloppy slap in the face.
As October ends and Christmas decorations are going up in stores everywhere, we’re now experiencing 80-degree weather.
I grew up in a Chicago suburb known for its glorious maples that canopied the streets with brilliant red and gold. Temperatures became crisp, where even a jacket couldn’t completely keep out the chill in the air.
Cooler temperatures brightened everyone’s spirits. The energy sapped by sun and heat returned. When I’d finally fall in bed at night exhausted from being outdoors, I’d snuggle into a blanket because the cool air coming through the open window made it necessary.
Not here. It’s the great deceit that retail stores foist on all their customers this time of year. You walk inside from the hot and sweaty and pull on a jacket because the temperature has just dropped 25 degrees. There are jack-o-lanterns placed intentionally around the shelves. Colorful leaves are interspersed with everything from produce to sweaters.
It looks like fall.
Then I walk outside. Shed my jacket because I’m already starting to sweat. And wish desperately for a color other than green on the trees.
Fall used to herald the coming of the holidays for me. Cooler weather and changing leaves were preludes to winter. Anticipation grew as the days became shorter and cooler.
Not here. One day pretty much melts into the next.
We’ve lived in this state longer than any other and I still feel let down every year at this time because it’s not what I’d like it to be.
I should be used to this. Hot, humid weather till December when the temperature drops a little. Drier air for a bit. For a few weeks, I don’t feel the need for another shower the moment I walk out the front door.
Take in too deep a breath and it passes me by.
Why am I complaining? We live in a state with a lot of sunshine. I love the sun–it does wonderful things for my mood. I don’t have to invest in heavy coats and boots, mittens and scarves.
Yet I whine.
Because it isn’t what I want.
If I lived up north, I’d be crabbing about the cold weather come the first of January. I’d whine about gray days and long, dark nights.
Too often I want what I don’t have.
Jesus reminds me to be thankful. To show gratitude for what I do have, not focus on what I feel is missing.
Complaining comes so easily. Wanting what’s not mine takes the joy out of the many blessings I have.
Gratitude is work, but it’s a reminder that I have a lot of good in my life.
Here’s a reality. Jesus is real. And He doesn’t disappoint.
I’ll just “leaf” it at that.