Repost from last October.
I enjoy the changing of the seasons. If I had to pick my favorite one it would have to be Fall.
The cooling of the air seems to refresh not only my body but my brain as well. It’s more than just the relief to have made it through another summer, but more a sense of accomplishment for having done so.
When I smell the first burning of wood coming from distant fireplaces at the beginning of the fall season, it takes me back to a time and place when I was young…
One of the first Falls of my life, when I first recall that sense of accomplishment mixed with the smell of burning logs in the Fall air, was after football practice.
Summer was over. No more two-a-day football practices. I enjoyed walking home from practice taking in the cooling air while walking barefoot. The concrete actually felt good on my feet. No more sprinting from shade spot to shade spot when I was dumb enough to leave the house with no shoes on.
There hasn’t been a Fall of my life, when the air starts to change and I smell distant fireplaces burning, I don’t think of that Fall so many seasons past.
I fast forward some years and recall the smell of burning wood at the end of a work day. I still remember the gratification of having worked hard with my hands, and looked back at what I accomplished in a day. Surrounded by perfect air temperature, I actually felt bad for the people who didn’t get to experience what I was in my life.
Each changing season brings about new challenges. With each test or challenge, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I can’t say I come out on top every time, but that is my goal. Regardless of the outcome I’m filled with a sense of accomplishment for having stayed in the challenge, for not giving up, even when sometimes I wanted to.
I flip the fast forward switch in my mind yet again. This time I leave the button pressed a little longer to take me to a specific part of my history.
I land a couple decades further into the story. This remembrance of Fall lands me in a Lacrosse field. I remember the smell and feel of “my season.”
I recall stopping the practice for a few moments to have the girls look at the skyline, noting it’s progression north on the horizon. I asked them to take note of the smell of the air. The moist grass, the dampness in the air, and, in particular, the smell from distant wood burning fireplaces.
I encouraged them to remember the moment, the smell and the sense of accomplishment. I asked them to recall this time during the future seasons of their lives. I reminded them how special and fleeting each season is.
It was magical, just the sound of hard breathing from wind sprints, mixed with the inhaling of the smell of life. This is when the scent becomes more than a smell. The scent mixed with the hard work coupled by the gratification becomes a state of being that we can always travel back in time to visit.
The hard work that brings a sense of accomplishment mixed with the scent in the air becomes the trigger we engage to ride our minds back in time.
This year will be a different Fall season for me. As the seasons change, so do our lives. I will not be coaching Lacrosse this year. I’ll miss the smell of the grass, mixed with the smell of chewed up earth from cleats, and the aroma of wood burning in the distance.
Mostly I’ll miss the girls and the sense of gratification and accomplishment gained by having an impact on their lives.
This year when I smell my favorite Fall scent, I’ll remember the ones past. I’ll cherish the years and the paths that have brought me to this fork in the road.
I’ll choose the path less traveled. If I have too, I’ll blaze my own trail.
When I stop at dusk and breath in the Fall air bursting with the scent of burning wood, I’ll remember the good old days, and look forward to this day becoming one of them…
Shared at http://peterpollock.com/2011/10/season-blog-carnival/