Finding Gratitude in the Mystery of the Seasons



340 SEASONS Outdated: The author and his mom celebrate her birthday and their acceptance of the passage of time. (Picture courtesy of Steve Hoffmann)
The improve of the seasons is on us. From the heat air and cooler nights to shorter days and longer nights, we know winter is coming.
As time goes by I have learned to welcome each time. The seasons are predictable in that they will come regardless of whether we like it or not. Within the predictability of the period to come there lies a profound vulnerability in the secret of not figuring out what unknowns the season will provide.
As slide techniques, we test to predict the unpredicted on our island all the time. How a lot of nor’easters will we have this year? Will we have a ability outage? Will the bay freeze? How substantially snow will we have?
On a personal notice, we may perhaps inquire who’s coming for Thanksgiving evening meal. Will I have my holiday break browsing finished in time? Will Aunt Sassy be nicely more than enough to share in the festivities? Who will travel Uncle Fester residence when he drinks too much? In a number of brief months all these inquiries will be answered, and we will commence to the up coming year for much more improve.
The seasons are the stream of lifetime within the saeculum, a Latin phrase outlined during historical moments as a “long human life” and “a all-natural century.” There is a time for each time. To uncover peace we need to have to just “be” with the seasons and embrace the variety introduced by each of them. Enable them stream into us and permit the elegance and joy each individual time supplies flow out of us.
Every of our life follows the saeculum from start, which is outlined as about 80 to 90 many years, or 320 to 360 seasons, give or choose. This timing is brilliantly intended to give us a lot time to learn from the ordeals in our life as our very own lives advance from spring to summer months to autumn to wintertime. Ah, the unpredictable life cycle of the transforming seasons is the ideal reminder that “the only constant is change” (Heraclitus).
I just visited my mother, Doris, on her 85th birthday. For 40 decades she and her partner, Fred, packed up the car or truck with a cooler whole of foodstuff and three children, and headed to Prolonged Beach front Island for the spring and summer months times of her existence. Her pleasure was getting treatment of and currently being with her household. Today, her memory is fading and she is no more time independent, and she needs to be taken care of.
As her memory fades, every single time I visit I can see a additional vacant search in her eyes. She has seasoned 340 seasons. She is moving into the twilight of her everyday living, and there is elegance in that. On our very last check out we took her outside the house to appreciate a brilliantly sunny October day wherever she could listen to the birds singing and experience the mild breeze. Her spirit perked up – we noticed spring in her eyes. Underneath the exterior alterations her physical and mental condition are receding with the passing of time, but down below the floor her spirit however operates deep.
I am understanding to embrace these variations in her. She laughed at items even when she was not generating sense, and we laughed jointly as we sat exterior on this stunning October afternoon. Just sitting down alongside one another, listening to the birds chirping, embracing the warm rays of sunshine and sensation the caressing of the light breeze. With a smile on her experience, she mentioned, “This is pleasant … it feels so great!” We smiled and agreed, “Yes, it is!”
We all sat in silence, listening to all that was around us: the birds, the trees rustling in the breeze, the autos whooshing by. She acknowledged this all in her possess way. Her times at the shore with pals and relatives could have passed, but the exact spirit that savored all the amazing seasons has not left her. Her pure essence of spirit shone by way of. Collectively we embraced the adjust and had been thankful we shared this working day with her.
As every 12 months goes by, I have recognized we would be intelligent to take, embrace and be thankful for the cyclical changes in nature, the human life cycle and universe and see the fantastically woven sample that produces the masterpiece of life. Accepting each and every season’s contrasting variations comprehensive of secret and awe is certainly the way to be in sync with the present-day period of our lives.
It is now November. Autumn leaves have adjusted to brown, dazzling purple, orange and gold. The wind whistles by the trees fallen leaves dance down the road. Fish are forging for bait to maintain them more than on their migration south. The birds are traveling south for the wintertime, and people today will just take the same cue and go away for hotter problems, too.
The certainty of Thanksgiving assures us of warm family members gatherings and feasts with all the trimmings: oven-cooked turkey or even deep-fried for the ambitious, cranberry sauce (from Jersey), mashed potatoes and most sumptuous of all, the stuffing that fills us with its tender texture, clean and scrumptious, made fantastic with loaded, thick gravy. It is the ultimate in comfort with each individual mouthful. Complete it off with a fantastic nap by a roaring fire and all is correct in the earth. As dishes are staying washed and Uncle Fester is being pushed home, we sink into a perception of reassurance this instant in time delivers.
As we solution the vacation year we are certain an uncertain winter, with its unique mysterious magnificence, is coming. Peace will come in the promise of the certainty it will be followed by spring, summer months and fall.
Steve Hoffmann lives in Surf City.

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