Sitting in mid-April with a snow-covered landscape, a day past a spring blizzard, I contemplated what season I'm in? Do seasons really exist? And if they do, how do I progress from one to the next? I suppose the first season, spring, begins at birth? Or perhaps winter is actually the primary season during the gestational period?
Either way, youth has a sense of spring built in it. Everything is fresh and new. We are free to frolic in the green grass, stopping to imbibe the fresh air and fragrant growth of newly budded trees and blooming flowers. In my youth, life was exciting and free. I roamed the woods building villages out of sticks, mud, and stone by the creek bed. Riding my bike for hours, alone, I would end up at the shore of a river, watching frogs and tadpoles swim by, as the sun descended upon the day. Hurrying home, I would make it to dinner, after the whistle blew. Life was simple during this first season.
Summer comes and with it ventures in humidity and bugs. Oh, summer is beautiful and special. Everything is set for fun in the sun, but with it comes sunburns and temptations not considered in spring. Sleep is shortened due to extended daylight. Summer foods are abundantly tantalizing. Our early adulthood is similar to summer. Our education, beliefs, and career begin to be set. As we proceed on our chosen path, we find the expected ”fun” comes with consequences to our health and well-being. Summer set me on a course of destruction. Overextending myself in work, exercise, and social engagements left little time for the nurturing rest that is promised during the supposed ”lazy hazy days of summer.” Back pain, hypoglycemia, and seizures left me questioning my early decisions. A change was needed. A different direction had to be made to alter my current life or the final seasons would be debilitating. I had to rethink how I viewed life and what was truly important.
The fall phase brings a transition of the greens of summer to an array of spectacular hues. The accumulation of the fruits from the earlier laborious timeframe begins to flourish. This season can feel like a glorious harmonic finale of a symphony. All of life's knowledge, experiences, and wisdom blend beautifully to culminate into an incredible story of perseverance in the midst of constant change and unexpected twists. Fall is beginning for me. I see the colors change as my teenagers become young adults.
Assisting my aging mother, I think about my own winter season. Spring and summer have passed in my life. Fall is my favorite season. Here, I can become both a participant and observer as life falls by like a floating leaf to the ground. Fall still offers adventures, but perhaps the daring aspects lay closer to the heart than the physical body. I'm still learning and pushing my limits, but in a gentler manner then the exuberance of spring or the steamrolling of summer. When the leaves are done cascading to the ground and the time to head inward begins again, I will be ready. Ending in a transformation to higher levels of consciousness, I'll move into winter until the cycle begins again.
Susan J. McFarland
April 15, 2019
Susan J. McFarland