Thursday, September 10, 2015

The seasons of our lives

Where I live, it's that time of year when we're leaving summer behind (even though right now, it's still nearly 90 degrees) and moving toward autumn. Already I've seen some leaves that are changing color. I love the fall season, the somewhat cooler air, the disappearance of mosquitoes (!), and the beautiful color of leaves and other foliage. So I'm not complaining.

As the seasons change, though, it's always a reminder to me of the seasons of my life, too. Perhaps I think about it more these days because I've entered that autumn season and know that winter is ahead. I've already enjoyed my spring and summer seasons—and am left with many wonderful memories of those.

For so long I've loved the beauty of spring (everything coming alive), summer (flowers blooming) and autumn (the brilliant yellows, oranges and reds of trees and bushes)—but haven't been particularly fond of winter's beauty. My attitude is different now, however, and I see winter has its own particular beauty—not just when the landscape is covered in sparkling white snow but also when the trees have dropped their flaming leaves and are left with muted shades of rust.

I suspect my change in attitude has to do with where I am in life. I now appreciate the muted shades, the subdued colors of trees and bushes in winter. This is because, when I look at women older than I am, I see such beauty. I see grace and wisdom and composure. I see serenity, and I see women comfortable in their own skin. I see authenticity and openness. And this is an invitation to me to embrace all those qualities myself—and when the time comes, to move into that final season with joy and gratitude.

No matter which season you're in, think about what it means to you—and what's needed as you look ahead to the next one. It's time well spent.

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