“The seasons do not push one another; neither do clouds chase the winds across the sky. All things happen in their own good time.”
Recently, I walked into my living room and felt a difference. The difference was subtle, but still strong enough for me to notice. It was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Everything looked the same. The furniture was all in its place. My Schnoodle was curled up, with his stuffed animals, in his fuzzy donut bed. The dust was still present on my red IKEA locker that acts as our entertainment center. No matter how often I dust it, the particles never, ever seem to go entirely away. Everything seemed to be how it should be, but still something was different.
As the days went by I was still filled with that same sense of change. I didn’t know what it was until I noticed the sun shining through my dining room window. The sun seemed to be shining through the window differently. It didn’t seem to be casting onto the opposing wall like it normally did. Its rays felt cooler and my home felt darker. This was the variance I was searching for. The subtle difference I was experiencing was the changing of the seasons.
I value the fact that I live in a place where I can experience all four seasons. I love them all, but Fall is by far my favorite. I love the crispness of the morning air as I step out onto my front porch with my first morning cup of hot tea. I appreciate all of the beautiful colors as the leaves change to beautiful reds, oranges and yellows. I am entertained by all of the squirrels as they forage for their winter harvest and defend their boundaries in the trees and the powerlines.
Winter is definitely my cozy season. I love the quiet that comes from a good snowfall. It is a season for warm sweaters, fuzzy slippers and crockpot meals that fill the house with wonderful aromas. It is also a time for winter walks -- I look forward to bundling up in layers, donning my boots and heading outside to walk across the freshly fallen snow. There is something about the fresh air and the crunch under my feet that makes me feel alive.
Spring is always a welcome season. After the darkness of winter it is wonderful to see things come back to life again. It always amazes me how quickly the change happens. The once dead landscape suddenly springs back to life. Flowers bloom, grass grows and people once again find their way beyond the warmness of their winter retreats. Spring brings longer walks and space for discovery. Discovering three spotted fawns this past spring was a great reminder of how truly amazing the season is.
Summer brings the warmth of the sunshine and late afternoon rain showers that cool the temperatures, if only for a few moments. Summer sets the stage for vacations to new places just waiting to be discovered. Gardens grow, barbecuing becomes the new way of cooking and porches become a place for sitting and drinking lemonade. Summer may complete the seasonal cycle, but it doesn’t end the idea of seasons.
We all experience seasons. They are the times in our lives where we feel most present. Whether it is a season of singleness or a time of discovering who it is we want to be, seasons hold us captive for a period of time and ebb and flow throughout our lives. As one season ends, a new one begins.
I will be the first to admit that this process is not always easy for me. I tend to want to hold onto seasons, especially when they are particularly good. Life was not designed to be this way though. To keep ourselves moving forward, we must ebb and flow through the seasons of our lives regardless of whether they are good or bad. Not long ago, my husband reminded me of this through a simple request.
Recently, my husband asked me if I had any hangers in my closet. In our family, he is the designated laundry guy. I admit that I am a huge hanger hoarder and often debunk his system by holding onto all of the empty hangers in my closet rather than replenishing the laundry room. I am so appreciative of my husband’s willingness to do the laundry, without complaint, that I want to do all I can to make his job easier and to keep the process going.
Cleaning out my closet had been on my chore list for weeks. I love things to be neat and orderly so I didn’t quite understand why I was procrastinating. Every day I would open the closet door, see the mess and proclaim that I would clean it out tomorrow. Tomorrow kept becoming tomorrow and it wasn’t until I had the call for hangers that I decided to clean it out.
I started going through all of my clothes, pulling out the ones I no longer wore. Eventually a nice donation pile started. A pretty easy process until I came to my work wardrobe. I immediately felt a sense of sadness come over me. I had held onto my wardrobe since I became ill and stopped working in 2019. Until now, my suits and professional attire never made it to the donation pile. I held onto them with hopes that I would someday enter back into the workforce. I was holding onto a season that I needed to let go.
This past year has revealed the progression and reality of my illness and despite my dreams, I know in my heart I won't be heading back into the workplace. It was something that I have been hoping for despite my increasing health challenges. Although I felt sadness in the process, blessing my work wardrobe to others was the final step I needed to truly let go of a season I had secretly been holding onto.
I was amazed how great I felt the next day! The heavy weight I had been carrying around was gone and I had a completely new perspective on where I was. I don’t feel sad that my life is changing. In fact, I have a new sense of freedom, excitement and discovery for all of the things this new day will bring. I had been holding onto something I needed to let go of so that I could fully embrace my new, undiscovered season.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell’s quote perfectly visualizes where we have all been at one point or another. Whether it is fear, resistance or loss; we often hold onto things and shut out the idea of new possibilities. Be encouraged to know that good things are waiting for you! Be strong and don't be afraid to close the doors that need to be shut and courageously walk through the ones that are just waiting to be opened. A whole wonderful world is just waiting to be discovered!
What is your favorite season and why?
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