Right now, I'm an Autumn. And it's a pretty nice place to be.
Have you given that much thought? That our lives are very much like the seasons that we experience each year on this planet? Our seasons are longer, but comparable nonetheless.
We're born as babies, grow into children, and from there into adulthood. If we live long enough, we are then considered mature individuals, and if we're blessed, we at some point become aged - old folks.
My current season of Autumn, that of the mature woman, is that place where I am neither young nor old. Honestly, I think this might be my favorite so far. I'm still healthy and strong, I can do most things that I set my mind to do, and emotionally I'm more comfortable than I've ever been. Physically, I have more limitations than when I was younger. I'm not as strong as I once was, nor do I have the stamina of my youth. I do what I want, I just do it within a more relaxed pace. I'm okay with that. I no longer have anything to prove, nor do I have the desire to impress anyone else.
I have more peace.
I know who I am, what and who I believe in, know enough about life to put my priorities in place, and pretty much know how I want to spend my time. It certainly doesn't mean that I've perfected this time thing - not at all. But I do know what's important in life. I understand the value of time, and what an incredible blessing it is. I realize that the people and animals whom I love are far more important than what I do. To have everything means nothing if there's no one special to share it with.
I've also learned the importance of living life with an attitude of thankfulness. Nothing is ever guaranteed, and everything that is good is a blessing. And if I'm honest with myself, I have so very much to be grateful for. And I know just who to thank for all those blessings. My life is good. Life is perfect for no one, but we are told to be thankful even in times of trouble. For in those times, we build character, we grow stronger and better, if we choose to view everything in that way. Without times of difficulty, how would we compare all the goodness that comes our way? Like spoiled children, we would soon view life as something that we are entitled to, and that's just not the way it works.
So I've learned to give thanks for all things that come my way, even if that means I at first become grieved, frustrated, disillusioned or even angry. Life is a lesson - take it as it comes - and learn from everything and everyone. Whether those lessons bring good or bad, we benefit from them both. I believe that some day, when we can look back over the course of our lives, we will truly know how all things worked together for our good.
My cousin died last week. For me, it's the second cousin whose died this year. She was my sister's age and she's taking it especially hard. Sort of like mortality slapping you in the face, I think. Tomorrow I'll be attending her memorial service. We will cry and we will laugh at the memories that we've made. For her time has finished, there is no more. Funerals have a way of reminding me to cherish the time that I still have. To value those people in my life, and make the most of every single day. Time goes amazingly fast, and we're all getting older...so the lesson here is, not to put off telling someone that you love them. Eat the cake, count the stars, play like a child, take that vacation - whatever it is that gives you joy - do it. You can spend all your time making money, eating only the right foods, and miss out on the chance to make some memories with those who you hold dear. Tis true, there's not a single one of us who are getting out of this alive...
I love this song. For me, it brings it all home.
"For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to refrain.
A time to search and a time to give up.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear up and a time to mend.
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace."
That bit of scripture has always given me peace. That I know life is all about variety, a season for everything imaginable. And because of scripture, this too I have learned...
"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God."
Be well my friends, do good and be happy.
p.s. buy the shoes! :)