The seasons come and the seasons change. Time keeps rolling on. The journey of life sometimes feels long, but it is not endless.
The last days of summer, of early life and youth are behind me now, they are but a distant memory.
During my summer days, I felt fearless, spontaneous, dynamic, and self-confident. I had ideas, creativity, and great energy. But the journey continues through darkening days, autumn leaves and early frost.
I’m suddenly feeling much older. I remember how the world was like an unpainted canvas, ready for me to pick the colours I wanted to choose. I had so much to say, so much to give, I wanted to shape a better world.
But the summer was too short, and now I’m facing darkening days. It’s time to light the candles and be honest with myself. So little of what I wanted to do, has come to pass. But nature has its phases and so do I.
The storms are blowing harder, so I must shut the summer’s door. The weather has taken a bitter turn. I contemplate in solitude and wonder what to do. I wasn’t quite ready for the transition to evening chill or the daylight growing shorter.
The life’s early autumn storms have caught me by surprise. The cold and the rain have started all too soon. There was still meant to be more sunny days, of time with good health and vitality. Or so I thought.
I always believed I’d be a late bloomer, not hitting my peak until much later in life. Yet, my pace is slowing down. If spring is the season of being born, then autumn is the season for slowing down for winter.
Yet wasn’t autumn supposed to arrive at retirement age? Wasn’t it supposed to be an enjoyable phase? Many call it the golden years, a time that is carefree and easy, time to travel the world. So why are my early autumn days already so stormy?
Autumn season has something powerful to ask us: is our calling still productive, or our role life-giving? If the season has changed, is our work complete, and is it time to transition to something new?
That is the point when I remind myself that a meaningful life isn’t only about doing and being productive, but sometimes when untimely or unexpectant health issues overwhelm our lives, when the seasons turn too soon, it can also be about realisation, new-found understanding, adaptation, and transition.
I’m reminded of a quote I have read “No spring nor summer beauty has such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face”. The grace we learn in summer and springtime, is the key to autumn season’s beauty.
So, I will make the most of my early autumn days. With grace I accept its limitations and restrictions. I make up my mind to learn transition, to shift my thinking, to adapt. But most of all, I choose not to compare myself with others my own age, who are still able.
Autumn is often thought of as nature’s most colourful season. I choose to focus on the beauty, the rust-coloured, crisp, earthy, rustling, and wondrous side of it, instead of the gusty, howling, blustery, rainy, and soggy mess it sometimes feels.
And during the days when it’s tough to get out of bed, I will remember, even if I have struggled, I have made it this far. This moment is worth celebrating, even if I do absolutely nothing other than breathe.
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4 Comments Add yours
I was listening to a podcast yesterday and it said the average lifespan of a human being is 4000 weeks. The emphasis was on our finitude but it wasn’t said in a negative way. Even when we are relatively healthy, we notice as we age, that we can’t do as we normally could and that time is running out, or so it seems. Coming back to our breath helps us come back home, I feel.
To help remind me of this, instead of saying ‘In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’, I have been saying, ‘In the name of the All-Embracing, our brother Jesus and our Inner Breath’. I like to think that our inner breath is the Spirit within us and that we are part of what is greater than ourselves, the one great love and the one great suffering of the world. No pain of ours is wasted. For instance, it is inspirational to think of you struggling to get out of bed, yet doing so, and celebrating that you can.
Anne-Marie, I’ve also been thinking a lot about breathing lately, because I have had breathing difficulties. Breathing is the most basic functions of the human body. It fuels our body with oxygen. Because my body struggles with hypoxemia (low levels of oxygen in the blood) this bible verse (Job 33:4 NIV) has spoken powerfully to me lately: “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life”.
That is a great verse …..
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I think this blog post is the most raw post I have ever written. It was as though when I was writing it, I was finding out what I was feeling.