The swallows may show up in San Juan Capistrano but the parrots return to Pomona and parts of the Inland Empire. Every Fall, flocks of parrots return to our area, flapping and squawking their way across the sky. It’s a sign that Fall is arriving. Their appearance signals a change is approaching.
People from other parts of the country where weather changes are more extreme speak condescendingly about our lack of season in Southern California. However, there are definite seasonal changes here. I’ve lived in the LA Basin pretty much my entire life and we have seasons!
Southern California seasonal changes are not blatant, hit you over the head notifications. Seasonal changes in the southland are more subtle. They require us to pay attention and notice them. The parrots returning is a more obvious sign, but it doesn’t mean we feel a change in the temperature.
If you pay attention to growing cycles, you will notice that summer squash grows more slowly and the texture of the vegetable changes. Zucchini becomes crunchier and juicier in the garden, like an apple, when Fall approaches. Plants stressed out by long days of sun begin to perk up as they get a break from so many hours of sunlight. Even the feeling in the air changes, sometimes so subtle it is hard to notice.
I think God’s movement in our lives is more like the seasons we have in Southern California: subtle. God needs us to pay attention and notice what God is doing. Once in a while, someone does get a flash bulletin from God, but for the most part I think God’s effort in our life is more gradual.
It’s hard for us to change and God knows that. It’s hard for us to grow up in Christ; it takes time. God is moving in us and around us all the time, hoping we will take the time to pay attention and notice what God is up to.