The seasons are changing.
Fall is here in all its golden glory. Watermelon and corn are out. Apples and squash are in. We’re finally past that weird overlap where it’s technically fall, but the weather is warm enough for flip flops and avocados are still on sale. Those are confusing weeks. Half of your friends are losing their minds because PUMPKIN SPICE HAS ARRIVED. The other half are still at the lake… in denial.
Summer and autumn flirted for a while. Then the air got chilly, the trees turned color, and we went full-flung fall.
The way seasons work
We’re always either starting a new season, firmly grounded in another, or transitioning to the next… unless you live in San Diego.
Did you know San Diego’s climate is what God was beta testing in the Garden of Eden? “Sunshine, mid-70s, and an abundance of fruit trees… they’re going to love it!” I guess his launch plan to roll out Perfect Weather worldwide was interrupted by The Fall (not to be confused with “Fall”). That’s why Minnesota enjoys four seasons we like to call:
- Humid and Buggy
- A Brief and Wondrous Autumn
- Don’t Go Outside
Oh well. God works in mysterious ways.
Sports fans deal with seasonality, too. Except there’s a fun twist: you can be in multiple seasons at once! You know those cute little signs that say “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”? There should be one that says “There’s a game on somewhere!” Sports fans never have to fear drought, because the seasons cross and overlap to keep you comfortably entertained year-round.
Take October for instance:
- Baseball. They’ve played 1,000,000,000 pre-season, real season, All-Star, and World Series games. They’re still playing. What are we waiting for? Put down the bats and wrap this thing up.
- Football, football, football. I’ve made my buffalo chicken dip and watched exactly one-fourth of a game. I’m ready for my gold star and “get-out-of-Sunday-football-free” pass until the Super Bowl.
- Basketball is on deck. I know this because I was eyeing our calendar, desperate for a respite. Unfortunately, it looks like soccer will close and sail us straight into basketball season with the gracefulness of a perfectly-timed bicycle kick.
The unique thing about sports seasons overlapping is this: it’s harder to commit an out-of-season faux paus, like eating pumpkin pie in the spring or wearing pastels in the fall. Seasons in the natural world are well-defined, and only the bravest tempt them. I’m talking about you, my childhood neighbor who selected “Christmas in July” as the theme of her birthday party. (Sure, it was awesome to eat cut-out cookies six months early, but that was a daring move, my friend.)
Goodbye, soccer. Hello… soccer.
Soccer season, like train crossings and the line for the women’s bathroom at a play’s intermission, feels never-ending. While Major League Soccer in the United States is almost done, European soccer has just begun. Plus, don’t forget we have international competition to keep the joy alive all year.
Last week Alex and I went to a picnic for MN United season ticket-holders. It was a celebration marking the end of the season. There was food, a short presentation, and an autograph signing by the players. But the best part by far was watching them practice. Alex and I stood right behind the goal while they hurtled shot after shot towards the net. Now I understand why they call it “striking.” I’m surprised we came home with intact noses. It was exhilarating.
And it made me realize, I’m sad to see the season end. It’s taken a long time for me to like (not just tolerate) watching them play. Now I have to wait five months until our next home game… that’s a long time!
Seasons come and go, and soccer (at least here in the U.S.) is on its way out. It’s hard to see it go, because, well, see above for how I feel about other sports.
But that’s the beauty of seasons. Never-ending seasons will eventually change. Least-favorite seasons may grow on you, and if not, they’ll eventually end.
And favorite seasons always come back.