Thursday, April 27, 2017

To Everything There Is A Season...

Spring is my most favorite time of year. Call it the Pagan in me, but I love to witness the rebirth of the Earth after a long dreary winter and to celebrate new growth that comes along with it. Few things are more exciting to me than watching seedlings I planted the year before emerge from the ground once the temperatures warm up.
But, this Spring has been a little different. My grandson was born on April 14 and I've felt more reverent than usual over the gift of life and all it brings, All that said, this Spring has also made me reflect on how seasons aren't just part of the yearly cycle of the earth. Seasons are a part of our internal lives as well. Just as the Earth changes every quarter, so too, do we.
We are born, we grow, we change, we die, only to be reborn again and while, yes, I do mean this in a metaphorical sense, I also mean it literally as well.
Our lives and the situations or circumstances that encompass them are temporary at best and maybe that's why I take such joy in the birth or rebirth of living things as well as ideas or projects. I love watching seeds that were planted with such bright hopes come to fruition, even if they've had to lay dormant longer than we humans thought necessary at the time they were planted. I try to look at that longer than usual waiting period as those seeds gathering more and more strength before bursting through the soil because maybe, just maybe their time here might be a little more challenging than the ones that sprouted up easily and effortless and they'll need whatever reserves they gained during their time under ground in order for them to get through it (bad things happen to good people). It's also those long awaited seeds that outlast the others. Their time in the darkness having made them stronger and more resilient to adversity. I cheer for those seeds who made it against the odds. I've always been a fan of the underdog, because I've always been one myself.

I'm not a fan of the Winter months. I don't enjoy the cold, the damp, or even snow, but Winter does serve as a reminder for me to be patient. It reminds me that though something has gone dormant or appears to be dead, there's always hope for Spring and if not this Spring, then perhaps next. While Winter does remind me to have patience (something I'm still struggling to learn), I also look at that time of year as the "Grieving Season"; the time to mourn the loss of that which won't return in the same form I knew it as before. I allow myself to consider the ways the presence of that being whether it's an animal, a plant, or a person- changed me through out my time in its company. What lessons did I learn from it? Am I better because of it or better without it? As the Grieving Season nears the end of its natural cycle, I find that each time I'm a little bit more capable of letting go with love and saying goodbye with gratitude for the lessons I've learned; but that doesn't mean I like it. I don't enjoy any aspect of it, but I do accept the necessity of that season, not just Earth-wise, but also human-wise. Grief deepens us, changes us and molds us. It teaches us better than anything else can to take the love and the joy wherever we can find it, even if it's just for a few moments because honestly, life as a whole can be entirely too short.

I spent a lot of my life living in the Grieving Season, too afraid to even hope for Spring, for that rebirth or regeneration out of fear I'd fall right back into the depth of Winter, but the last 15 years have taught me that nothing lasts forever, not even sadness. Yes, I still feel my losses, somedays more acutely than others, but the truth of it is, eventually life does have a way of forcing you back into the seasonal rotation. So, while right now, everything looks bleak and dark, eventually, the sun will come back out and your world will green back up. That sun might not be AS bright or the grass AS green as it was before you experienced your Grieving Season, but you'll find an appreciation that you can even see the new growth at all.

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