Seasons - Soapbox Jr.
As I write this, the “Tennessee Midlands,” as dad used to call them appear to be heading full speed into spring as tree frogs are singing, daffodils are starting to bloom, many of the trees are just beginning to bud.
But, as a popular meme that has been circulating for a while presents, Tennessee actually has TWELVE seasons:
Spring of Deception < -- You are here
Hell’s Front Porch
While it’s supposed to be humorous, it’s not far off base. Right now, we’re having temperatures close to 70º, but one of the biggest snow and ice storms we’ve had was in March just a few years ago, and while rare, Middle TN has gotten snow in April, so it’s not really very far off base.
One winter, my elementary school in Mt. Juliet – in rural Wilson County - was out for an entire month for snow, this was around the time that scientists were warning about a new Ice Age. Well, we weren’t out for a solid month, we were out two weeks and then went back for half a day, and then it started snowing again, so we were sent home early, and basically out for another two weeks.
That was extreme and quite out of the ordinary for Middle TN.
Just a few years later in 1980, we had one of the warmest summers on record. It was in the 100s for several days if not weeks. It was so warm that when we went to the local swimming pool in Lebanon – also Wilson County – the water wasn’t even refreshing, and it was almost like stepping from a steam room or sauna into a hot bath.
We’ve had extreme Springs in Tennessee, like we did in 2010 when we had historic flooding which affected parts of downtown Nashville, many areas near rivers and even flooded the Grand Ole Opry House and the nearby mall.
And as beautiful as a Tennessee Fall can be with the brilliant orange, red and yellow foliage, there have been times when drought conditions have robbed Autumn of its full glory, so every season can have its extremes.
But extreme seasons don’t just mean weather. In fact, speaking of seasons, it has been 8 months now since dad “changed addresses,” and that season of grief isn’t going to go away anytime soon, although, much like the list above, there will no doubt be a mixture of them which can change several times. From “Hanging in there,” to “Feeling Strong,” to “Barely getting by.”
I heard something extremely profound in of all places, a Marvel Comics TV show called WandaVision, while not getting too deep into the complicated plot, the show is based around how one character deals with grief, however, she’s extremely powerful, and appears to have resurrected her love, an android called Vision, along with someone who may or may not be her brother in a small town which echoes and imitates decades of TV sitcoms.
In one episode, while Wanda – the main character - is talking about the grief she felt over her brother’s death, Vision gives an astonishingly deep response for someone made of wires and circuits, “What is grief, if not love persevering?”
Indeed, it is.
Grief is love that still exists and is enduring when a loved one is no longer there to receive it.
Not much can be more extreme than that pain.
It’s watching the Tennessee Vols decisively win a football game in a disappointing year, and as you were just about to call your dad to ask him if he saw the end of the game, then you remember that there is no one to call.
It’s memories of riding horses with him when you were younger, and you wish you had done more in recent years.
It’s remembering holidays, birthdays and it’s the bittersweet thoughts while going through unfinished writings and songs, marveling at the talent that he had for writing, but knowing that he would never finish them.
So, the Seasons of Grief can probably be displayed in a similar fashion to the 12 Tennessee Seasons:
Trying to be Strong
Dealing with the Pain
Doing the Best We Can
On the Mend
Picking Up the Pieces
However, there is no particular order to these and “You are here” can appear at any point on the list at any given time, often during the same day.
But seasons change, and we will learn how to deal with the love that we will always carry.
As Vision observed, “What is grief, but love persevering?”
And persevere we shall.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police, the peace of Jerusalem and for our nation.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels, Jr.
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