A dear friend once told me that he could tell the difference between the last day of August and the first day of September without ever consulting a calendar. Autumn, he said, was in the air once the ninth month arrived. Perhaps you’ve heard those comments too. The mornings are a bit brisk, the sun sets a few minutes earlier, and the leaves begin to change colors. And take your lawn mower to the backyard and you’ll find patches of tough, stubborn “fall grass.” So, I believe my friend is correct. Once September arrives, autumn is in the air. A new season has arrived; the cycle begins again. Isn’t it funny?
In the early 1960s, Willie Nelson wrote a new song, and later recorded it, entitled, Funny How Time Slips Away. The lyrics describe in detail the results of a broader topic, namely the fact that time passes quickly without our realization. The days of the week, the weeks of the month, and the months of a year can pass with only the seeming blink of an eye and we can easily question where the time has gone. We look around for the familiar places we’ve known from so many years before. Most times, they’re only a distant memory, but sometimes we still find them. And as Willie Nelson so candidly put it, “Ain’t it funny…?”
My wife and I recently spent a weekend with friends of ours we made in college. We’ve remained in touch and though we now live over a hundred miles away from each other, we make it a point to visit throughout the year as often as we can. Though we’ve been friends for many years, it wasn’t until fairly recently that we learned that my grandparents and my friend’s grandparents were also the closest of friends nearly 50 years ago. Like the cycle of the seasons, and the changing of times, it seems that particular friendship has come full-circle as well. Isn’t it funny?
Seasons change, time passes, and generations come and go. Those seasons and decades and generations can be filled with what seem at the time to be the most inconsequential of places, events, and people that later return to our lives and become monumental to our story. Some people call that fate and some call it coincidence. But regardless of the term you prefer, if you pay close attention, you’ll see it exists.
I hope next year when August becomes September, you’ll remember a word or two from today and realize the cycle of seasons has come back around. I hope when you hear Willie Nelson on the radio, you’ll remember an earlier place or time that still has meaning for you year after passing year. And most importantly, I hope when you meet those friends and family, neighbors and mere acquaintances you haven’t seen for so very long, you’ll recall their importance in your life and how your paths uniquely continue to cross. Perhaps you’ll consider all those things and say to yourself, “Hmm. Isn’t it funny?”