How we mark our days

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It’s officially spring but someone forgot to tell the sun and the weeping skies. They cry bitter little flakes that threaten to kill my one indulgence of the season, a pot of yellow and white petunias. My husband asked me if we should move the pot inside and, as it remains the one spot of colorful joy on a brown landscape, I said no. I might regret that decision later.

Years ago, a wise friend told us it’s necessary to experience all four seasons in a place before you make a judgement about living there. You must watch the seasons retreat into one another with a practiced grace, see the trees turn from green to gold to crisp brown to bare branches. Then watch them come to life all over again. Back to green.

I find it takes four seasons to feel as if I could make a home in one place, and eight seasons to use the word home to describe it. I need to learn the rhythms of the year, how it ebbs and flows. How one month is set aside for merry making, another for mulled wine. One for dipping toes at the edge of the water, another for standing on the highest peak. One season settles into school days, and another packs her bags for travel. We ebb. We flow.

I’m still learning how to embrace the rhythm of the year–how to mark the days so they count for something now, as they march forward towards later. The calendar, the sun, the birds, the trees, the celebrations, the skies– they help me see where I am, and where I am going within the confines of the year and the seasons I will embody.

I find myself wandering around wishing for a calendar when it comes to the seasons of the soul. How does one mark the days of spiritual growth or effective parenting or abiding in love? How do we mark creativity? Mastering our craft? The end of grief? The expansion of the soul? I want to live the four seasons, count down the days, know when it’s safe to put out the petunias. One season of the soul may last far longer than another. One may choose to leave with so little grace, it feels like a never ending cat fight. One may die before the next is resurrected, and we wait in the in-between for someone to show us how to keep the faith, how to remain forever ready to place our fingers in the healing wounds. We watch for the stones of anger, fear, frustration, and faithlessness to roll away. And we look for intangible signs, rather than the skies, to tell us when a season is about to change.

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What season of the soul are you living in right now? Are you hoping for change or reveling in the beauty of the one you’re living today?

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