“And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem any less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.”
Seasons [see-zuhnz]: the cycles of life on planet earth that fold one into another, signaling a change from one condition to the next. Spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, winter to spring. Seasons set the pace for life, they signal us to respond in certain ways, to consider certain things, to celebrate what is important and special about that time of year. Seasons were meant to rest us, to revive us and restore us. They were meant to lead us and cue us about what is important and necessary. They should help us to think in cycles, but we are losing touch with the seasons aren’t we?
Our American culture, so rooted in Greek and Roman thinking, is all too linear. I am here – point A. I will go there – point B, in a direct and uninterrupted fashion. Time is linear to us. Life, in our minds, is from beginning to end, start to finish. We do not want to accept that we are joining a story already in progress; that life constantly changes and evolves outside of our control. We do not recognize the beauty of the folding of one into another, the necessity of change and death, the importance of rambling. We struggle to keep all of life a straight line. We want the temperature to be constant, the resources to be constant, the services and conveniences to be constant. We want our health and even, especially, each other to be constant. As we pull away from nature and live our lives more and more artificially, we break with the beauty and purpose of the seasons. We forget that life goes in cycles.
I feel this acutely in my own life – highlighted as I read notes from a friend about his life in Vermont. He sleeps outside in a tent in the summer to enjoy the cool. He gardens, raises heritage breed chickens and other small animals, takes in beauty daily, and constantly reminds me that I am out of sync. It is not his intention to do that, but he does, and I am grateful for it because Goodness lives by the seasons. Goodness knows the mystery and the powerful importance of staying in tune.
We have set record highs in Tennessee this summer. The grass is nothing but straw. Everything is parched and dry. I have completely taken refuge indoors, and I am thankful in many ways that I can, but the sense that I am missing summer is there. I feel like I am insulated from the truth of what is real. I rush as quickly as possible from door to car and back again. I have not wandered. I have not let myself stretch out as we are meant to do in the long summer days. I have not tasted summer, only avoided it. I think we live much this way – cocooned in our offices and climate controlled spaces – we miss the seasons and we resists the cycles in life that give us balance and help us see the beauty in joy and pain, success and failure, birth and death, what is visible and what is hidden. We miss the daily miracles in our life. We have lost touch with wonder and awe.
Goodness hinges on our being connected to what is real, beautiful, inspiring, and life-giving. How are you doing with that? Are you staying connected to the seasons and cycles of life and of your heart or are you trying to create an artificial environment that you can moderate at will? Let yourself stretch-out, wander, dream a little, celebrate with friends, and be well this summer. It will do you Good.
A little inspiration from our friends at Kinfolk…. An Ode to Summer.
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There are seasons of the year and seasons of the heart. Do you know what season you are in?