We see the process of change all around us being mirrored in the seasons throughout the year. Springtime heralds the onset of rebirth and new beginnings. The daffodils, tulips, and crocuses pop open in a burst of fresh color to dot the landscape. The dogwood and cherry trees adorn themselves as if preparing for a wedding ceremony in delicate pink and white blossoms while April showers pour out kisses of dewdrops upon every tender petal. A sweet scent fills the air and our spirits are given a measure of hope as we see this new life emerge in stark contrast to the bitter cold and darkness of winter.
Following this fresh burst of growth, summer arrives on cue to represent the fullness of life; the crowning glory of the year in all its plenty. Life is caught up in the momentum of production and energy, bursting towards full maturity. Then a subtle change begins to occur as we see this explosion of life begin to wane. It has expended all of its energy and longs to settle into a time of rest and renewal in order to burgeon with new life in due season once again.
As the exuberance of summer draws to a close, the calming presence of autumn begins to settle in. It is beautiful to behold as we see the splendor of color painting
the landscape; a living canvas of beauty reflecting the artistic hand
of its Creator. As if by magic, we watch as the leaves on the trees change into a
kaleidoscope of color before our very eyes; one last glorious display to bid the world farewell. They have served their purpose well and know that it is time to let go. One by one, we watch as a gentle wind comes along like the breath of God to detach it
effortlessly from the limb of its temporary home. Guided along in invisible arms, it is gently laid to rest upon the ground, and in return, the earth receives it with a kiss of greeting and a welcome home.
To the casual observer, what remains is a barren tree, stripped of its clothing and beauty, naked to the world and exposed to the harsh elements of the environment. Life appears to be swallowed up in death. Winter has arrived and a period of darkness descends and looms over all as the bitter sting of cold sets in. Yet we know that this is not the end. It is not a permanent state but a temporary dormancy period where many things are happening, although unseen to the naked eye. This is simply just another part of the process; a necessary phase of change. And like the year before, new hope will be rekindled and spring will usher in a time of new birth, growth, and new beginnings for us once again.
How magnificent and fragile this life is!
And so it is with each one of our lives. Like spring, our birth propels us dramatically onto the scene and we awaken and draw in our first breath of life in an unknown world. We arrive naked, helpless, and dependent upon those who have entered before us to act as our guides and teachers for a time until we are ready to explore it on our own. We learn to live and walk among one another. We partake of the same breath of life and dwell under the same sky. We are warmed by the heat of the same sun and share in the miraculous cycle of life in a continuous movement towards the inevitable death of our bodies, and emerge again as if born into something new, yet still part of what continues to exist. The essence of our life and existence is left behind as a memory and a legacy to those who remain and who have yet to make the same journey.
Let the seasons in life help you accept the process of change as a natural part of the journey. Whether you find yourselves in the springtime of new hope and beginnings, or still traveling through the darkness of winter, hold on to the here and now. Embrace the season knowing that change is inevitable and we can either flow with it or resist it, but it continues on with or without us taking a proactive part in it. Yet, be patient and loving to yourself when in the midst of the winter. Springtime will come again when we are ready.