I grew up in the midwest and have fond memories of scenes like this. I didn't see raking leaves as work when it involved jumping in huge piles of them and ending the day with a hot dog roast over a fire. The smell of burning leaves - the sound of crunching leaves - the feel of a warm sweater on a cool evening- seeing your breath in the crisp air - these are each a delight to my senses!
If you are a reader that has participated in one of my workshops on THE SEASONS OF YOUR LIFE, you will find this week's message a bit repetitive. That's okay - this message is one that is important and being reminded isn't a bad thing at all. For others of you, I hope this is a new idea - a new lens through which you can view the changing of seasons. A few years ago I was asked to speak to a group of women on the topic of feeling good about where they were in their lives. This group had a wide range of ages, 20-80 years old, and for various reasons many of them were bemoaning the stage of life they were in. My goal wasn't to make everyone feel wonderful about what their life was like in the moment, nor was it to help them look ahead or back in time to think about when life was, or could be, better. I simply wanted to help them notice where they were and make intentional choices about the season they were in.
As part of my preparation for that workshop, I researched the word season. We all get the spring, summer, fall, winter thing - unless you live where there are two other seasons known as dry and wet or hot and hotter. I had a suspicion that the word meant more than something about weather though. I had recalled one of my favorite Bible verses growing up (and a very popular song) that talked about "to every thing there is a season". I thought that if it came from the Bible, which was written in a place that didn't have 4 distinct seasons, that it likely meant something else. I was RIGHT! I found several definitions, but my favorite one was this one - "a time when something is available". Such as fruits or vegetables being in season. I am prone to have a craving for things that are not in season; I want fresh cucumbers in January or corn on the cob in April. I can get those items at that time of the year, but they don't taste right - the timing is off - either they were rushed (like corn on the cob that has no flavor) or they are past their prime (like apples in May that have sat in a warehouse for 6 months). Are you getting my point here? When something is in SEASON, it's at its very best - it will never taste or look or smell or feel as good as it does during that season.
Our lives are that same way, and since we just moved into the autumn season in the United States (on the calendar and in Mother Nature), I am encouraging you to ask yourself some powerful questions about this season. Fall, or autumn, doesn't last very long. Winter is anxious to get in here and get a grip on us for many months and summer hangs on kicking and screaming as it doesn't want to leave. In between, for a few weeks, we have a lovely time of year called autumn.
Let me offer a few prompts to reflect upon so you many more intentionally move in and out of this quickly passing season ...
* What is something that you can harvest now? You have planted it, nurtured it, grown it and it is time to reap what you have sown.
* What in your life is ready for a change? Like the color of leaves on the tree or the length of the days or the air temperature - what needs changing?
* What is ready to go dormant?
* What is available to you in this season of your life that is at its prime?
I look forward to hearing from you ... I'm going to heat up a cup of apple cider and make a fire in my own backyard and do some reflecting while my senses are filled with the stuff that only fall brings!