blessings Means of grace self-compassion

For the Changing of the Seasons

I’ve been writing this slowly – for months – as I contemplated the changing of the seasons in the natural world, as well as the seasons in my life: school transitions resulting in family schedule shifts, expanding and evolving ministry opportunities, my dad’s death and the seasons surrounding it, my children’s growing skills and independence and the ever-changing realities of parenting, the recent shifts in the United Methodist Church. The seasons are always changing. Next week, school gets out for summer. Another change, just for a time, before we begin a new school year in August. But we will be different then. We do not know what this season will bring, or how it will change us. May we move through this transition and many more, with grace and compassion. I wrote this for me – to me – but perhaps it’s for you, too.

For the Changing of the Seasons
For everything there is a season…
a period supposedly defined,
but more often,
the boundary is unclear,
the time immeasurable,
the lines blurred.

There is a before,
a during,
and an after…
but even with
clear dates on the calendar,
the beginning
and the ending
are elusive.

In the beginning,
there is a shift,
or many small changes,
perhaps marked by
a celebration or a grief,
a ritual or an event.

But in looking back,
was that really the beginning?

Or was it a slow build,
originating deep within,
on a day you cannot name
with a feeling or a thought
that is both undeniable
and impossible to describe?

Or did it begin with
something surprising
and earth-shattering,
an ending so sudden
you could barely
catch your breath?

Or was the beginning
the absence of something,
perhaps unnoticed,
overlooked for a time,
until a relic of the past
brought it to mind?

Beginnings and endings
always hang together…

Sometimes it is only
in retrospect
that you can name
what began,
what ended,
and what grew
out of the meeting
of the two.

The shift inside you
whether subtle
or startling
whether sought out
or surprising,
is how the seasons
are shaping you.

You are not what is
or what was
or what will be

you are
what you are

As the seasons come and go,
you change and grow…
becoming new
again and again
with each passing season.

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