Jack and I headed out on Saturday morning for our walk. The first cool front of the year arrived Friday night and this was one beauty of a day. It was about 60 degrees with a little breeze to put a spring in your step. I mean, not only couldn't I help but notice, I said out loud on a couple of occasions, "Man, what a beautiful day." Then, I laughed when I listened to what I was saying and what it meant to me. We had turned the corner on this year and summer ... finally.
We get a few of these sorts of rejuvenating days around here. And many of them are in October.
I love that October sky. Clear, blue, and true. It's back.
We don't know much about winter in these parts. We get a few weeks of that, at most. We get a couple weeks of spring, and maybe a few of fall, if we are lucky. Mostly, we get summer. Boy, do we get summer. (Texans are especially skeptical of global warming claims, for one thing, because we remember that it has been hot as hell as long as we have all been alive and we have never met any one here who can tell us any different.) Yes, summers are seemingly endless on the Gulf Coast. There would be no humans here but for the invention of the air conditioner.
What keeps the populace upbeat, though, is that we know that the summers eventually end. How do we know? Well, the newcomers have heard that they do. But for the rest of us, we've actually experienced it. And it usually happens in October. From a psychological standpoint, fall in Texas is pretty much like spring in the Northeast. That first front blows in ...
And all is new again. Hope springs eternal. It's football season. Hey, there's even some color on those trees. Look over there.
"Man, what a beautiful day." Remember the last time you looked upon beauty that compelled you to speak out?
Even though we know the summer will end, sometimes it still seems like it won't. We have seen it before, though, for the October sky returns every year. We should have faith, but we lose heart. I wonder if life itself is not like this, as well.
That is, we have lived through a lot of life's long, hot summers, but we have seem them end before. Through observation and intuition, we know that life has cycles. Good times come; good times go. We know that there are things we can't regulate or understand completely, lest they either fundamentally change or end.
For me, I know that God is faithful and have seen His mercies return anew in my life on countless occasions. So, when I go through a long, hot summer of life, I know that October will eventually come. Mind you, I don't know when the first front will be here, and I have my moments of bitching about the heat, if you will. But I do believe I will see the October sky again. How? Well, I've seen it before. And it has never failed to return.
Friends, these are dark days in America. You don't hear me (the alleged "Pollyanna" around here) talk this way much at all, but it's true. I realize that we are in the midst of a long, hot summer. We don't know when or how it will end. We mere mortals never know how the story ends, truth be told. We don't get the script, only our parts.
But this we know: People are uneasy, afraid, and wondering if we have lost something special here ... and perhaps permanently. For the first time in our history, many people believe that their children are not going to have a better life than they had here in America. People wonder aloud if America is going to be what she has been, and also many now openly wonder if our adversaries abroad have inexplicably gained the upper hand.
But I believe that we will make it. I really do. I have a deep-seated confidence that this long, hot American summer will end and we will see a renewal much like we did in 1980. How can I believe this? Like I can't create or predict the first cool front, I don't know the mechanism, or the time that America's long, hot summer will end. But I have seen it so many times before. And I know that the faith, the courage, and the spirit that brought on prior American renewals is still alive.
How? Well, I rub shoulders with it ... with them ... yes, with you every day.
We will be okay.
I am not a prophet, if you will. But ...
I do still believe in October skies.