Living in Florida you quickly realize the four traditional seasons do not exist. Seasons here are quite different and consist of: almost summer, summer, end of summer and my personal favorite, the few days we pretend its winter, light a fire and dress funny. Only in Florida can you send your child to school on that one “cold” morning in the following attire and be perfectly normal: soccer gloves, a sweatshirt, shorts, tall socks (as opposed to short ones…for added protection from the freezing temps) and flip-flops.

Hollis Gardens, Lakeland Florida. Photo by Suzanne Williams.

Since moving here, I’ve had trouble adjusting to 80+ degree temps at Christmas, New Years, Easter and everything before and after. It’s odd shopping for Christmas presents in shorts. The never-ending summer temps, while envied by many, hypnotize you into thinking everyone else also lives in a tropical, “shorts required year round” climate. And then you travel, forget a coat or even a long sleeve sweater. You then quickly realize other places have a real winter, one you don’t survive wearing flip-flops with socks.

Knowing all this, I was still stunned when my sweet daughter asked me about the order of these traditional, mystical seasons she’d heard about in other parts of the continent of North America.

“Mom,” said my beautiful, teenage girlie in her most serious voice. “What season comes after winter? You know, before what other people call summer. Is it spring or that other one… oh yeah fall?”

For those of you thinking, “surely she’s not serious”, I assure you can’t make up this stuff.

I clarified the order of the seasons, explained how the distance of the Earth to the sun created these fascinating temperature changes in other distant lands unlike Florida and hoped my girl was only suffering temporary Florida-itis. Poor thing. I can’t imagine explaining Alaska or the North Pole.

Now think about that… seasons… God created the seasons to give (most of) us a refreshing, a change, a time for the old to become new again. He created an order to things. There’s a time for bears to sleep. There’s a time for birds to fly south. There’s a time for flowers to bloom and a time for leaves to fall.

Each season of our life has a purpose. There’s something to be accomplished in each one. Some are more like Florida seasons with only minor changes in circumstances (and never-ending sizzling temperatures!) and others are defined by more drastic fluctuations in conditions or environment. Regardless, we need to recognize there’s a season for everything and a blessing to be enjoyed, a lesson to be learned, a preparation to be made. Enjoy the season you’re in and ask God to show you the beauty in it or you may miss something truly special.

A Time for Everything: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

For more gorgeous photos of Lakeland, Florida, visit Suzanne Williams Photography.

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