As summer turns to fall, I feel an equal sense of sadness and anticipation. I will miss warm sunny days spent outdoors but look forward to cozy chilly evenings curled up by a glowing fire. Similar mixed emotions can appear when we say goodbye to one season of life and step into another.
As we travel through our lives, we are like tourists passing through towns and villages with names like childhood, adolescence, adulthood, parenthood, empty nest, retirement, and old age. As much as we may wish to permanently settle in any one of those places, we must move on.
Do you find the journey through each season of life speeds up as we get older? Looking back, my first twenty years or so seem to take up the most space on my personal timeline. The same number of years spent raising my children was a blink of an eye. Thirty years as a teacher was a snap of my fingers. It’s as if I’m looking at life through a car window and watching it pass by in a blur.
When I’m not quite ready for the next season, I think of a favorite Bible verse, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Its author, King Solomon, was known as an elegant seeker on a quest for the meaning and purpose of life.
He employs the poetic device of repetition to illustrate the ceaseless, often antithetical, changes in life. “A time to break down, and a time to build up…A time to weep, and a time to laugh…A time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
King Solomon reminds us there are good times and bad, and just like the meteorological seasons, we are not in control. The verse encourages us to enjoy each season of life, no matter what it brings, and rejoice in all of our days.
On my personal journey, I know I spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror. Doing so can fill me with a deep sense of longing and regret that keeps me from paying attention to the road I’m on. I suspect I’m not alone in this struggle. Perhaps that’s why Ecclesiastes 3 is a compass for so many of us sojourners.
The seasons of life pass so quickly. The carefree, verdant spring and summer of our youth fade to a season when daily responsibilities, chores, and chaos scatter endlessly like falling leaves. Suddenly, we are older and days can stretch before us as empty as winter’s bare branches.
It’s fine to warm ourselves with yesterday’s memories and look forward to the future, but we are wise to show acceptance, gratitude and enthusiasm for each and every day of the season in which we find ourselves. George Santayana so elegantly said, “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” §
“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be
are full of trees and changing leaves.”
~Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
4 thoughts on “The Elegance of Changing Seasons”
Hello Alice! This post has especially touched my heart. I’ve lived all my life in the capital city of my country but this year I’ve moved to the surroundings, and that has allowed me to begin to live in greater harmony with nature and its seasonal changes.
I am 32 years old and (I hope) I still have a few seasons of life to go through. But when I think about the impermanence that governs our world, our entire universe, I feel that it is nothing more than the perfect balance with the eternity that God has prepared for our souls.
And I believe that, in his kindness, he gave us a divine spark of that eternity, capable of prevailing despite all the changes in our lives: love. In the form of memories, small everyday moments or praise to the Lord, love is that safe place to which we can always return when everything changes.
Thank you for your beautiful post! ♥
P.S. My apologies if there is any mistake in my writing, English is not my first language.
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Thank you for your beautiful comment, Noelia. I would never know English is not your first language. I couldn’t agree more with your thoughtful words. I hope you have a beautiful week in Argentina. ❤ Alicia
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There is so much to unpack in this beautiful post, Alicia. I think each season of life brings its highlights and challenges. You get to a part of the journey where you learn to embrace everything that comes. Life certainly does move faster the older you get.
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Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m so glad you could relate to this. 🙂 Alicia