To Every Thing There is a Season…

Maybe it’s that I’m retired and have time to think about these things. Maybe it’s that my mom, the last of my kids’ grandparents, passed away this year. Maybe it’s that it’s a gray Autumn day, and I’m feeling it a little “in my bones.”

I’m very conscious that there are seasons to my life.

I was unaware of this in my early Spring, when everything was new and exciting, and it seemed that life held nothing but possibilities. Each new idea or opportunity was a budding branch in my world. Each book, or song, or new place became part of the colors blooming around me, filling in the landscapes of my days.

As that season progressed and life became fuller,  my parents tried to guide me, to help me understand that not every opportunity would be indefinitely available, and that certain fruits, like education, might be best enjoyed when they were offered in season.

I began to look at the people around me, and to understand that they were in different stages of their lives. Not all adults were still striving for more; some had found contentment – they were enjoying their peak years and had achieved the growth that fulfilled them.

My Summer days were filled with marriage and children (growing and grown), and all the bustling life and activity that surrounded them. We were active in church and civic groups, we expanded our community socially and professionally. My beloved and I pushed to achieve our monetary objectives, in order to feed the eco-system that was our home. Life was everywhere. We began to mature.

Finding balance in those times was always a challenge – the resources needed to nurture, grow, and educate a family were considerable. The care and feeding of our family, and the cultivation of each aspect, required planning and time. Time was a resource we prized more every day. As we looked ahead to our futures, we realized with each year that there was a growing need to conserve and prepare for the coming Autumn and Winter.

Then the leaves began to fall from the trees – the kids left home to start their own families, and we relinquished some of our civic and other positions to “new blood” with fresh energy and ideas. Where our resources were concerned, we focused more on preservation for the future (and recreation while the climate allowed) than on immediate daily needs.

I retired from my 37-year career altogether. My beloved retired from one career, and moved to one that allowed more flexibility – and now we will work together for a smooth transition to full retirement for him down the road. The glorious thing about this Autumn season is that it provides such a wide range of new opportunities.  We no longer need to sustain the branches that our children occupied, and we can focus on our own core.

The color palette in this part of our lives allows for some travel, more flexibility in where we live, and trying different kinds of work, when we choose.  The vibrancy of the reds, yellows, and remaining greens in the coming years is exciting.  Lord willing, we will keep up (and maybe even improve) our health, and we will travel through this season together for quite a while.

We know that nothing lasts forever. We know there are many things we might have done better (and for that matter, we might have done worse) in the seasons gone by.  When we finally move into the slower, quieter season of Winter, I hope I will still have this perspective – that I can tell my grandchildren that each part of their lives is only there for a season, but if they will embrace and make the most of what they find there, each will be quite beautiful, in its time.

Turn, Turn Turn by Pete Seeger (from Ecclesiastes), covered by The Byrds

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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace…
…He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11a
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This post was written in response to a WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge. This week’s theme was Easy as Pie (Metaphors and Similes).   To see other bloggers’ metaphorical responses, click here. To see some of my prior posts in this vein click here:

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52 Responses to To Every Thing There is a Season…

  1. Pingback: Facing the Future and Enjoying the Passage of Time | The Retiring Sort

  2. Pingback: Letting Go and Moving On | The Retiring Sort

  3. Georgia says:

    Great post, I really enjoyed reading this thank you.

    Like

  4. Max510 says:

    Wonderful post ! 🙂

    Like

  5. G says:

    This a great post as not too long ago my best friend and I had a discussion about the seasons similar to what you wrote. It’s good that your children and grandchildren at least have this written account of your thoughts. I have so many great conversations with my mother where I feel like I should be taking dictation.

    Like

  6. The seasons of our lives come and go; how important it is to respect each season for what they offer us.

    Like

  7. Amy says:

    Four season journey, well said. I am embracing the season I am in now — “focusing on our own core”. Close with the “Turn, Turn Turn” is perfect! Beautiful post. Thank you!

    Like

  8. Jayne says:

    Beautiful thoughts… I am at a different phase of life, with 3 young kids. It is hard to stop and smell the roses at this point of my life. But I shall try, inspired by your post. Thanks for sharing!
    p.s. thanks for visiting!

    Like

    • Thanks! Some of my best memories are from your phase of life, when most days it was hard to focus on one thing for very long – but so much important stuff was going on! Enjoy every moment you can grab – especially with those kids – I have 3 myself! 😉

      Like

  9. amira says:

    wonderful. a delightful read with a calming effect.
    I guess right now I am at the crossroads of seasons … feel kind of lost with kids growing up and life slowed down a bit … missing the hectic life
    but I guess we always need to embrace the new season with open arms to enjoy it 🙂
    wish you a wonderful autumn and winter 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you! One of the hardest things about a newly empty nest is trying to remember what you wanted for yourself, before you had to consider all the other needs in your day! Sometimes those old passions have faded in favor of something else – you find a new rhythm to your days as long as you keep moving – just don’t sit still too long! All the best. 😉

      Like

  10. adinparadise says:

    Lovely post, and I love the words of that song. 🙂

    Like

  11. eof737 says:

    Beautifully reflective… and I suspect the changing seasons bring those conversations to the fore again. 😉

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  12. how beautiful. cheers!

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  13. bulldogsturf says:

    What a wonderful post… going from semi retirement back into my own enterprise requiring almost full time effort… is like going from Autumn back to Summer, without the other seasons in-between…

    Like

  14. This flowed so beautifully; it was as if you were sitting nearby and having an easy conversation. very well done, amiga. may your autumn stretch into infinity! z

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  15. jeannemeeks says:

    Well said. Autumn is my favorite time of the year . . . and of life, as it turns out.

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  16. Nicely said. Turn, Turn, Turn played at my graduation. Special memory.
    Your words are as musical as theirs.

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  17. What a thought provoking post. I love the reference to Pete Seeger’s song. I too feel like the Autumn is flying by and want to slow it down.

    Like

  18. thirdeyemom says:

    What a beautiful post! I can totally relate on your introspection on your life and its seasons. I often think about the same thing. I just turned 40 and all the sudden my parents are aging, my kids are growing and I am too. Thanks for sharing your journey thus far!

    Like

  19. I hear Frank Sinatra in my head singing, It Was a Very Good Year. Thanks for this nice post/reminder.

    Like

  20. fotograffer says:

    So well said as usual. Is it just me or do the seasons seem to be pick up speed. The “Autumn” time is fairly flying by – too fast?

    Like

  21. Delana says:

    I enjoyed reading this! My oldest son just got married last year and now has a little one (my first grandchild) so I can relate to this. It did remind me a bit of a poem I wrote awhile back. You might like it — http://3daysatsea.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/caught-in-the-storm/

    Like

  22. sharechair says:

    I’m right there with you at the exact same time of life. Lots of reflecting going on. And speaking of the Byrds, isn’t is odd to hear remember how you felt hearing the Beatles sing “when I’m 64” or Simon and Garfunkel “how terribly strange to be 70”. Back then we didn’t think these years would ever happen. Great post!

    Like

  23. jguider says:

    Beautiful post. I suspect that you have enjoyed the seasons of your time so far. That will set the tone for the times ahead. Enjoy.

    Like

  24. I agree, every season has its beauty. Leaves yellowing and falling, inspire us. White snow and cold weather, give sweet memories. Unnoticed, as time goes by fast 😛 Nice article.

    Like

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