Embracing the Changing Seasons
I have an amazing fig tree in my backyard. It’s the first thing I notice when I open my curtains every morning and its branches are my constant reminder of the changing seasons (even if the temperature outside is usually 70 ). Every August, without fail, the tree yields hundreds of large, scrumptious figs. The bounty happens over a course of two weeks, at which time I joyfully pick dozens of figs daily and happily share them with my fig-loving friends. During Fall, the green leaves change to brown, yellow and red and begin to fall to the ground. In winter, there is not a leaf in sight and the branches appear to be nothing but grey sticks. But if you look closely at those sticks, teeny buds are already forming, and will continue to grow in size, along with their leaves, until they are edible fruit the following August. Thus are the seasons of a fig tree.
People also have seasons of life. Each season – be it childhood, teen years, adulthood or late life – is rich with its unique gifts and challenges. Midlife is no exception. Menopause, empty nests, achy joints, health scares, and aging/passing parents are some of the challenges characteristic of midlife. Yet midlife also has the potential to be a time of great wisdom, emotional maturity, clarity, and an ease in one’s skin, all of which are downright awesome.
I am presently entering a new season, as virtually every area of my life is in transition. I am still mourning the loss of my mom who passed seven months ago and the resultant familial changes. I’ve hit rough patches in my religious and spiritual places of practice and my business is shifting in unanticipated directions. Amidst all of this, my nest is beginning to empty, as my younger daughter will soon embark on a semester overseas and my older daughter graduates high school this spring. It has been a time of deep sadness and deep love; of uncertainty and change.
Historically, I have approached seasons of uncertainty in one of two ways: I would either get very busy, usually accomplishing some sort of goal, or I would withdraw and become depressed. Though the former approach sounds better, in reality both strategies are ways to avoid feeling the lack of control that accompanies uncertainty. This time, I am committed to doing neither. Instead, I intend to stay present to my unfolding season and watch with curiosity how it manifests. Who know what surprises are in store for me.
Wishing you all presence and grace in whatever season you are in and in whatever one awaits you.