Reason for the Seasons: Life From a Different Angle
One of my favorite parts of living in New Jersey is that I get to experience all four seasons of the year to their fullest extent. More recently, I will admit the weather patterns are not as clearly defined as they once were. I have needed snow boots in April and a tank top on Christmas day; and summer and fall have been more recently known to coexist rather than smoothly transition. Nevertheless, I love my beach days by the shore in the summer and pumpkin spice everything when autumn arrives.
But what makes the seasons change? Sounds like an elementary school question. While the answer is simple, the implications of this answer are more profound than you may realize.
The seasons transition because of the changing angle the Earth is tilted towards or away from the Sun throughout the year. The hemisphere tilted towards the sun will experience summer and the hemisphere tilted away will feel the colder winter weather. Sixth grade science class lesson aside, the changing seasons not only accounts for the difference in weather, but also for the difference in the way we see our world.
In other words, when the seasons change, we are QUITE LITERALLY seeing our world in a different light. The angle from which we see the Sun’s light varies based on which season we are in, and with this variation comes new perspective.
A perspective shift, by definition, is an alteration in the way we see an object or situation. Cultivating the skill of perspective shifting is an important factor in all of the relationships we encounter throughout life, whether it be a relationship with others, our relationship with a circumstance, or even in the relationship we have with ourselves. Having the mental option to zoom out of a situation and look at it from various angles can lessen the amount of misunderstanding or suffering that may otherwise arise.
There are those who believe we are bound by our frame of reference. While our vantage point certainly plays a large role in how we see the world around us, it is not impossible to take a break from the mountain peak you’re standing on, to walk up another person’s mountain and look out onto the world from their eyes. Even if you don’t like what you see when you’re up there, at least you’ve expanded your experience of a situation, and in doing so, expanded your reality.
As this season transitions into the next, whether the leaves are falling or new buds are appearing, take a moment to imagine how the Sun’s light is hitting your eyes and bringing a new perspective into view.