Everything we do has its seasons.
Mostly there is a spring, then a summer, then an autumn, then a winter.
The spring is the honeymoon period in anything we do, the time when things seem fresh, and full of hope. There seems to be time for things, and we can speculate, accumulate, love. This early time has something in it of the eternal. There is part of every child who doesn’t understand that they will die in the end. Likewise, there is part of us, at the beginning of every project, that believes it is for the best.
Best faces are put forward, smiles are common, and there is a general feeling of growth and forward-looking-ness.
In the summer, what was a blessing can begin to become a bit of a curse. The heat we have generated can start to make us irritable. But we make the best of it, and holiday in the light of what’s to come.
Eventually, it cannot all be sustained for much longer. If we run a business, then the time arrives when our product is old hat, and people stop buying it. If we are an animal, then the time comes when our cells begin to get behind in their constant task of self-renewal, and we dwindle. If it is a relationship, then perhaps it settles into an understanding that one of us will die in the end.
And then there is winter, when we wrap up as warm as we can, but the time has come. Now it’s our task to cope with the bareness of life without leaves, of time without money, of bodies without health, of humanity without help.
In a way, winter is the thing we prepare for, without knowing it, all the time. Watch older people who take their death with dignity, kindness, courage and understanding. They have built up a resource within them in their earlier years, destroyed their fear, enhanced their self-reliance, until they can face what is to come.
Remember, in everything we do, there are these seasons. A time of hope, a time of making the most of it, a time of dwindling, and a time of bareness. It is built into the life we lead, and the ecology we participate in.
If we can be mindful of its cycle, then we can live wisely, with an understanding that nothing is for ever. This need not be a cold thought. The seasons, properly understood, are beautiful.