As we start to put away summer clothes and hunt for our winter attire, I couldn’t help but think not only of the change in clothing, but also the change in seasons. We are headed into Fall. I love the colors that nature dresses itself in!
During a recent drive, I was reflecting on something that Virginia Portanova, the Business Manager at Saints Philip and James Parish where I work, posted on her Facebook page. I was so inspired by it that I wanted to share with you. The photo is also from her garden!
Her opening quote is in bold. It is followed by a deeper reflection of it:
There is peace to be found in every phase of our lives… timeless beauty to be admired rather than discarded and tossed aside. Each cycle offering grace, a hope in new growth, elegance and beauty in full bloom, wisdom and seed for new beginnings, quiet stillness to reflect and ponder what we feed to grow. Honor every cycle as it steps into your journey.
Our lives are harmonious with the changing seasons of nature. We cannot make it through the cold dark winter by tearing off the pages of the calendar. We need to live purposefully during each of the seasons.
Life is full of twists, turns, joys, and sorrows, and we learn that life always goes on. Spring blossoms into summer. Summer reaps the fall harvest. We gather in the fall to survive the winter. We take the time that winter offers to reflect, nurture, and spring forth with new hope.
As we enter the beautiful season of autumn, let us gather the harvest. How did we grow this summer? Did we nurture friendships, create memories with family? Did we use our abundant harvest to serve others? This season, we reflect on what we are grateful for; we give thanks to God for all things, and we prepare for the season of winter.
During the dark, cold, lonely days of winter, we use the time for self-care. Just as we cover ourselves with warmer clothing and blankets, we need to be covered in God’s care and love for ourselves. We use this time to reflect on what we need to nurture, to plant the seeds for spring. Do we need to grow more patience? Fertilize compassion and empath? Water kindness? We reach deep within our souls to draw out the goodness and love of Jesus, so we can allow His love to sprout out into the world around us!
Beautiful spring comes after, when the days are longer and light helps growth. We now prune and trim what grew out of darkness. We are anxious and sprouting out of control with joy and hope! We need to trim back and tame our enthusiasm, to concentrate on what we can do and do well. While we would love to do it all, that will only leave us exhausted with growth in many areas but few real blooms. Choose a few areas to nurture, weed, and fertilize, and you will see them blossom fully.
Now enjoy the full bloom of summer. Allow love to shower the world around you. Be carried away on the winds of change. Allow the ocean waves to wash away all that burdens us, holds us down, and doesn’t promote growth.
And just like that, we find ourselves a little older, standing a bit firmer. Maybe a few pounds heavier, with added wrinkles and gray hairs of wisdom. We ponder and look back at the memories of summer, and we praise God for the great harvest.
Live in the presence of each season of your life. Don’t count the years – make the years count! Find within you the laughter of a child… the hope of new beginnings… the wisdom of maturity… and the peace of God. Look in the mirror and marvel at the beauty of your life. May mercy, grace, love, and kindness be revealed in your harvest!
What is the harvest you are reaping? What makes you grateful? What are you thanking God for?
Where are you in this beautiful cycle? Take the time to ponder it this week.
Till next week,