Thursday, February 17, 2011


When you live on the Central Coast, you have to get used to many different weather seasons, all within a span of 20 minutes. Today, for example, the weather has been as cold as 30 degrees, and as warm as 70. The wind has blown and it has been silent. The rain has fallen and the sun has shone. There have been rainbows in the sky, as well as massive storm clouds on the horizon. There has been almost no humidity to speak of, followed by a veritable rainforest of moisture. And change is on the horizon, whatever that portends. The weather has been confusing.

Personally, I like my seasons to be separated. I like winter to be cold and crisp and full of snow and sharp - with mist from my breath. I like Spring to be warm, slightly rainy, and verdant with flowers and dewdrops. I like summer to be hot, very enough to be warmed up by the cement after you take a dip in an icy cold mountain swimming pool. And, of course, Fall needs to have the tinge of finality to it. It needs to be the place where colors and year end resolutions make a harmonious pact with one another.

So, what am I getting at...

I believe that life has seasons as well. I also believe that when people mix up life's seasons, they generally become despondent. Spring is not the time to be contemplative. Winter is not the time for expansive dreams. Summer is a bad time to put on a parka of poetic solemnity. When we mix up the seasons of life, we often get confused.

What is a midlife crisis exactly? Well, what I have observed, from those who have sought my counsel on the matter, is that people who get confused about the seasons of life find themselves in the middle of crises - that is, a midlife crisis. So, when adults try to act like children, or teenagers, there is crisis. When 40 or 50 year olds, who are in the Fall season of their lives, try to relive moments of Spring, there is trouble.

Some have suggested that one of the key difficulties with living in California is that there aren't as many seasons as other places. Or rather, the seasons aren't as delineated and concrete. I have actually seen people in the middle of winter in Southern California, who are wearing flip flops and tank tops, with wide smiles on their faces, and perfect tans, say that they yearned for
"A space to go inwards, a time to be contemplative, a place to be introverted."

When I heard my friend say this, I wanted to just say, "You mean, you need winter!"

All for Now,

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