AND Live the Season

April 5th, 2015

It snowed again last week—twice! At the same time, the mourning doves wake me with their song and sit on the railings of the deck. As one season fights to hold on, or at least leave its mark, another sends markers of its impending arrival.

I love watching nature’s signals of what is arriving. We tend to think in terms of seasons that are somewhat static, forgetting the dynamism of the process. The same is true in our own lives.

We give meaning to beginnings and endings—births, birthdays, graduations, promotions, and the like and act as if much more than one day or one moment has passed since the last one. We tend to look at the aggregate, the big pattern, and miss the nuances of individual moments in our lives. Some people sleep through entire decades and seasons in their lives, wondering where they went.

I wonder what it takes for humans to slow down in order to really know the miracles of life, the beauty of the sunset, return of a favorite bird in the spring, and the first indications of buds forming on the younger trees. Every season in our lives brings its own gifts. Each offers a unique beauty and miracles to be witnessed.

Our ability to truly appreciate the gifts of any season rests on our willingness to be open to whatever comes and unattached to what the prior season brought. If we become attached to what arrives in one moment, we naturally miss what the next moment brings, and end up using our energy trying to prolong the gift that has already flowered.

Our willingness to be surprised and delighted by whatever arrives carries with it the requirement that we not hold specific expectations for what will come. A little bird with a red head and breast, probably a house finch, perched on my deck yesterday. I was filled with joy. I love this little bird, even if it is different from the ones that came last year and built the nest under my deck. A simple songbird is a gift. And I am grateful.

I loved the snow that piled high this winter. And I love seeing the little red bird on the deck. As we age through various seasons of our lives, there are moments to be cherished and attachments to release. There are things we will no longer do or choose that we loved in a prior season and new things to welcome.

My godmother has been an absolute gift in my life. She has been teaching me about the seasons of living and continues to be an extraordinary guide. With over nine decades of experience, she has seen people and seasons come and go. And I am grateful for one who has gone before to show me her choices and things that simply change because they have to.

Life is a gift. Different living things are in different stages of flowering. All bring their own beauty. Whatever season of life you are in, live it to the fullest. The gift you are will touch many other lives and the gifts around you will touch you as well.

Comments are closed.