“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”-Ecclesiastes 3:1
My parents are getting older, my wife and I are getting older (although she wears it much better than I do) and my children are getting older. Our cat, on the other hand appears to be an ageless wonder. There is much we can ignore and overlook in life but the passage of time is not one of them.
One of the great benefits of living where I live is the opportunity to enjoy four distinct seasons. Rarely does one simply skip over the other. Here we can experience the personalities of each and accept them for what they ultimately are; a mark in time.
I think a lot about the changes seasons bring, and how those changes seem to parallel the seasons of my life…..
Spring-newly married, nesting, children on the horizon, new jobs, new responsibilities, debt and a freshness and freedom unequaled by anything I have ever experienced. Opinions are developed and defended as gospels. I pray for forgiveness and direction.
Summer-children are here, growing, changing, finding their footing and then beginning to depend less and less on me. Routines are developed, while opinions become more tolerant with experiences and observations that seemed to have escaped me in the Spring. I pray for forgiveness, direction and safety.
Fall-children are grown, maybe beginning their own Springs; endings now seem closer than beginnings, aches and pains last longer. Relationships change, some grow and some vanish. I now notice the changes in colors and changes in attitudes. Acceptance and understanding typically prevails over opinion. I pray for forgiveness, direction, safety and compassion.
Winter– I am not quite there yet but my parents are, although I do feel the change in temperature from time to time. I see in the faces of my parents the gratefulness and acceptance of another season. I understand their joy in knowing that there are new generations behind them, children and grandchildren that will carry their love, memory and personalities further down the path. I watch as they learn to accept that they can no longer do some of things they used to do, anticipating a future that will be very different from their previous seasons. My prayer for them, my family and for you is for forgiveness, direction, safety, compassion and peace.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” Henry David Thoreau-Walden