It is ironic, I think, how the rhythm of our lives mirrors the happenings of nature.
Now that I live in Arizona, I regrettably miss the turning of the four seasons, when I pause to remember them. But I remember so vividly how I would be caught up in moaning for some ounce of sunshine during the cold, grey months, and the freeing feeling of wearing the first pair of flip flops outside.
I remember the burdensome weight of final exams as the trees bloomed outside of the library window, when I could practically taste the beach and late nights and sticky ice cream cups of summer waiting for me.
I remember the dignified satisfaction of purchasing new school supplies and beginning new notebooks and class schedules, and nestling up to the first pumpkin flavored drink like a dear old friend as the leaves turned orange and red.
I remember driving back home from college in flurrying snowfalls, listening to the smooth tones of Christmas carols and dreaming of twinkling lights and wrapping gifts with my dad.
How precious and unique is each of these, and how foolish I would be to spend all of a season wistfully dreaming of the next. How silly would it be for me to dwell upon the deary or tiresome parts of each season instead of choosing to savor the very thing I was experiencing.
How like this is to life.
Around this time last year, I was preparing to give birth and, in the months that followed, I enjoyed sweet newborn afternoons filled with third cups of coffee and movies and stroller walks around the block. I remember the first times I took Leo out in the car by myself and took deep breaths as I adjusted to my new reality. I remember intentionally slowing down, slow slow slow, because I instinctively felt that this newborn season was so magical and even more fleeting than perhaps any other.
Now, Leo is walking and life is different and in many ways busier. I catch myself thinking ahead of when he is talking and reading, or when we have another child, or when we move into a house, or when my siblings are older and getting married. Sometimes, dreaming ahead is a tempting distraction that leads my mind away from the weariness of the present, which is often filled with stacks of grading and a very needy 11 month old and dishes and long work days. But just like those ever-changing seasons, I am reminding myself that there is virtue and mystery in this present season of life, and while something very wonderful may be around the corner, I will pass this unrepeatable time but once.
“Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something's time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.”
Thank You, then, for the seasons which turn, but more for me turning and abiding in them.