Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
(Robert Louis Stevenson)
JUST AS THE YEAR FALLS INTO FOUR NATURAL DIVISIONS — SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN, AND WINTER — IT IS GOOD FOR US TO LEAD LIVES THAT ARE “SEASONAL.” Nowadays many of us are cut off from any significant contact with nature and its recurring periods, and if we’re not careful, we will fall into the habit of doing the same thing all of the time, twelve months a year. But just as nature does a different kind of work in the spring than it does in the fall, we need to vary the pattern of our living. Our human years need to be characterized by seasons, so that we enjoy some rhythm and variety.
To begin with, it would help us to recover our appreciation of the natural seasons. The qualities that distinguish the four seasons are truly refreshing. Yet if we even notice these qualities, it is often only to complain: if it is hot or cold, dry or rainy, we speak as if these variations were undesirable. But they’re not undesirable; they’re the changes that can give structure and pattern and texture to our lives. We need to taste the seasons more consciously and appreciatively.
Taken as a whole, our lives also fall into seasons. There is the spring of youth, the summer of early adulthood, the fall of late adulthood, and the winter of old age. All of these present special opportunities and challenges. Each is to be enjoyed and used wisely.
But young or old, it’s good to follow the natural seasons each year, enjoy them, and adapt to their differences. If we’ll lead a summer-like life in the summer, a winter-like life in the winter, etc., we’ll find ourselves not only relishing life more but also being more productive. Respecting the seasons is a good way to get more out of life.
Today, it’s good to be reminded that spring is the “first” season. It’s a time of new beginnings and new growth. As greenery starts to emerge from the gray of winter, who can help but be reminded of the opportunity this gives us to renew our commitment to life? So whatever good thing you can begin — or renew — today, let it live in you!
“In our hearts those of us who know anything worth knowing know that in March a new year begins, and if we plan any new leaves, it will be when the rest of Nature is planning them too” (Joseph Wood Krutch).