In my area, fall seemed to arrive all at once.

Temperatures fell at night into the 50s, something luxurious at any time. Days grow shorter. For some reason, life has a lift in its step.

Different locations have favorite seasons. Minnesotans look forward to spring to thaw out from winter’s dark. But in Texas, fall quenches nature’s blast furnace.

In 1968, the rock band The Byrds sang “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The song steals the lyrics from another author at a different time. However, the message never changes.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1–11, ESV)

Yet, seasons also feel different at different times of life.

I hear Solomon’s words with a different ear now. Sure, leaves turned in fall, and flowers bloomed in spring. When younger, time seemed to flow together.

As time goes on, there are different seasons and moments for things. As Solomon says, everything is beautiful in its time to the observant person. You begin to sense both past and future, not merely the present.

Now, I sense the insights in Solomon’s words.

Live long enough, and you see life change. We experience birth and death. War and peace become realities, not abstractions. Life has its moments of argument and reconciliation.

Solomon also reminds us that there is something to do in every season. A young parent holding an infant does much in that season that an empty nester does not.

Some versions render one section as giving us a sense of past and future. We look backward and see history but also look forward and anticipate destiny.

The question I ask more often now is, “what season am I part of? Can I sense the divine rhythms of life? If God has provided opportunities for various things, do I perceive them?

I must remember that the season I am now encountering will change. It is a comfort when times are good and a warning when all seems bliss.

Enjoy the cool and make the current season fruitful. It is God’s gift.