And just like that, July is almost spent and the gateway month is approaching. August is the gateway to the vibrant oranges, rusts, burgundies, and golds, crisp winds bringing the promise of pumpkins, marshmallow roasts, and falling leaves of Autumn! I stepped outside on the porch of our beloved lake house and the temperature has dropped 10 degrees from yesterday morning with a cool gentle breeze that feels like it’s saying, “I told you I’d be back! This is your postcard reminder that I’m on my way and we’ll be frolicking together again!”

School begins in two weeks, and we all will fall back into our familiar routine of meetings, classes, and teaching. Oh how I love seasons! This summer has been a rich one filled with self revelations and honest reflection. Blogging through my seasonal depression has been a powerful tool helping me face it head on and assuring me that I will prevail as I have every other year. I’ve had wonderful trips with people I adore, and now I feel refreshed and excited to start my favorite season of all! While summer is probably my most troubled season, I love it partly because it deepens my appreciation for Autumn. As seasons are connected, so is sadness connected to joy. Without my season of depression, I might take the Autumn joy for granted, and I’m sure I wouldn’t feel it as deeply. Happiness is lighthearted and mindless, but joy has a depth that reaches down into previous times of grief and adds immeasurable gratitude to the moment. That’s why we cry when joy takes us over…joy understands pain, happiness has never experienced it. I embrace Kahlil Gibran’s description of their intertwining below:

On Joy and Sorrow
 Kahlil Gibran
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

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