The Dawn of a New Season

Mnikesa - New Haven, Connecticut
Entered on November 16, 2005

Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in seasons. Don’t misunderstand me; I loved living in the Lone Star State. And my pride for my Texas high school and college alma maters is no weaker simply because I love seasons. But let’s face it, Texas isn’t known for the distinctiveness of the seasons. The weather can be very temperamental and varied, but weather and seasons are two very different things.

When I moved back to the Northeast just about three years ago, I was stunned by the simple fact of the seasons. In spite of the inherent tranquility of the first two or three snowfalls, winter is hard and dark here, but it lasts for only a season — it does end and it makes spring’s presence even more exquisitely welcome.

We Texans would laugh at the two weeks of unbearable humidity we experience here on the East Coast; it pales in comparison to the months of 100-plus temperatures that make-up a Lone Star summer. But even that ends and we are surrounded by the delicious, cool breath and colors of autumn.

And now, as I finish my first cycle of chemotherapy, I have been reflecting on yet another difficult season of my life. When out of nowhere, this disease gripped my lungs, my family, friends and I were thrust into a winter for which we did not feel prepared. Headaches so bad you can’t blink, nausea, loss of appetite — all of it is a type of pain unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Perhaps one of the hardest things is that I haven’t been able to dance since I got really sick a few years ago. Next to teaching, dance is my highest passion.

One thing that has kept my heart going is that I know that this is a season — even the chemo is in cycles, 12 months at a time. This “winter” has been long, dark and hard. So cold, if you will, that it’s painful. But I believe this will end.

Seasons: They are a reminder of the ways in which we can view our lives. As my mother says, when things are hard, take it in pieces. It’s how our brains work to help us remember phone numbers and acronyms.

Unlike weather, which is a collection of many different types of experiences (wind, tornados, rain, warmth, snow showers), seasons indicate something far more calming. They describe a piece of time that we can remember, suffer through, or enjoy with the hope of the dawn of a new season. The hope that they sing about in that song, “I hope you dance.” I will dance again.