August 2016 – Enjoying the changing seasons

One of my favorite things about living in Manitoba is that we have four distinct seasons. And while each season can be enjoyed for its own unique reasons, I always find a particular pleasure in Fall. The weather cools and becomes more temperate, the leaves on the trees turn, and in a way that only those of us who live in Manitoba can understand, the air somehow feels less like summer and becomes more wintery. The days are still often warm and the evenings, though shorter, still retain a hint of the fleeing Summer. T-shirts are slowly replaced with sweaters which give way to jackets and even parkas. In the same way flip flops and sandals give way to shoes which will soon become boots once the snow falls.

For families with school-age children, September signals a return to school, and with school comes the inevitable requirements not only of school lunches, school appointments and school sports, but also a whole host of other school opportunities and obligations. It is natural to be wearied by all this busyness, and yet we do well to recall what a privilege it is to have children and to live in a country where the opportunity of a world class education is available to us. Such are the securities and freedoms we enjoy each Fall.

As schools reopen, we should drive carefully and give ourselves more time on our daily commute to work. Remember that school zones often have reduced speed limits, and the police will no doubt endeavour to ensure the safety of our children. Many speeding tickets are given to well-meaning drivers who simply forget to slow down or fail to notice a speed limit sign.

In the coming months, many of us will enjoy watching or participating in Fall plays or concerts, many of our churches will host Fall suppers, and many of the charities and organizations we serve will take advantage of the heart warming routines of Fall to invite friends to fundraising events.

Regardless of the time of life you are in, I hope that this Fall brings you joy and warm fellowship with those you love. I encourage you to benefit from the opportunities for friendship that our communities offer. Instead of lamenting Fall as as the end of Summer, we should instead see it as the promise of a long sweet prelude to Christmas.

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