Sunday, September 6, 2009

That's Life

It was bound to happen.

The first time I noticed it was out the AMTRAK train window week ago. I think it was at Dowagiac, Michigan. The leaves on a tree were turning.

Then, after we got home last Friday, I noticed that one of the trees outside the condo was turning (see picture at left) and realized that Summer is just about in the past tense. But that's life. Sooner or later we get to Fall and Winter.

Like I said, that's life.

I sat back and thought about the seasons of life. For instance, as a sixth grader I would swing in the swings out behind our two-room school and marvel at the lush new growth of green leaves as Spring emerged in upstate New York. Or the time my mother and I headed overnight by train from Buffalo to New York City in the nineteen thirties to go to a funeral. In Buffalo it was still cold and bleak with some snow still on the ground and the next morning New York City was flaunting flowers and new growth on the trees.

Then I thought about summer - of following a horse-drawn hay wagon to load new-mown hay,
and then transferring the hay to the loft in the barn. Or sitting under a porch at our house watching lightning playing across the sky during a wild thunder storm

Then I took a moment or two to recall what New York autumns were like. Like the leaves changing from a faded green to yellows, reds, oranges. Or the mists filling the valley and the chills of first-of-the-season frosts and apples ripening on the trees.

And there was New York winter - sometimes requiring snowshoes to get down the hill from our house. Zero - or below temperatures. A mile each way to walk to school. And stark tree limbs grasping for the sky and maybe in prayer for the new life that comes with Spring.

I tend to do a lot of reminiscing but it goes beyond memories alone. I tend to think that's part of life and it is challenging to be reminded that at my age I've gone through the birth and new life of Spring. That's childhood. There were the teenage and young adult years - the rich life comparable to summer time. Then came the retirement years -the years when everything began to slow down and one has a tendency to realize that even in human life there is a point when our "leaves start changing colors, and fade, and fall away." And all we have to look forward to is the winter of life when we wonder what tomorrow might have for us.

Perennial optimist that I am, I like to think life does not end with winter - we always have Spring to look forward to with the new potentials tomorrow holds. And if life doesn't make it through winter, reflect in one way or another on all the good things we have seen and done. And hopefully made the best of life and shared the best of our life in making the world a better place. And hopefully sharing something good and beautiful with others.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that for everyone and everything there is a season. never waste where you are - make the best of life - and be thankful for what God has given us. And hopefully we've given God the best we have had to offer.

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