Flannel

by Josh Cowen

I have to admit that Flannel marks the best season of the year. This fuzzy fabric ushers in the season of Autumn, or as most of us know it: Fall. Fall begs for warm cider and a hot fire, for friends and thanksgiving, for raking and a flannel.

I grew up in sunny Southern California, where the climate stubbornly holds onto summer and you might get a little bit of spring. Winter and fall are far from its vocabulary. Living among so many people, houses, streets and concrete I was not surrounded by nature’s indicators of seasons. Moving to Michigan so many years ago was eye-opening to say the least. In Michigan the Summer breaks to make way for Winter, and that in-between time is a myriad of colors changing, leaves falling, and crisp air. How beautiful is that?

For some folks around here, Fall marks the beginning of that four letter word…snow. And that’s true, but how boring it is to be stuck in one or two seasons for the whole year? Fall invites us to slow down from the summer scurry, to soak up every last drop of sunlight.

Change is most evident with the fall season. It reminds us that in life there are season for everything. It reminds me of the classic song by The Byrds:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

It is easy to forget that in life, everything is a season. Some seasons might be longer than others, and some are short, but change is constant. It is how we interact with change that is important. Do we resist it or embrace it? Are we warmed by the thought of change or do we give it the cold shoulder?

Over the past year there have been many changes here at Navigate. Overall, Navigate is much better for those changes. Were they hard for some of us? Yes. Were some of those changes difficult to make? Yes. Were there changes that led to growth? Yes. Frederick Douglass said this about change, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” How true is that?

So as you put on your flannel and float through fall at work, at home, in your spare time—recognize the seasons around you. Don’t look too far forward to what is next. Try to enjoy your current season. The next season might be difficult or easy, but be thankful for the season you’re in. Sit back and enjoy the lingering wisps of smoke, friends, and fall.