Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 21: A Time for Everything

The fullness of summer has peaked and the certain signs of autumn and looming winter are upon us here in Muskoka. It is a very beautiful time of year. The ducks are all grown up, bigger, more confident and very handsome indeed. Summer's flowers and shrubs and fruits and nuts have all made the most of their opportunities to flourish and renew the landscape, feed wildlife and fill our eyes and souls.

I have never experienced such a 'flash' of a summer before. It was barely a blink between the first signs of crocus and the change to autumn golds and reds. Where did it all go? This year of reflecting on aging adds intensity to the change of seasons for me. Trying to find where I am in the changing cycle and seasons of life and making peace with that - finding joy in that and hope. And acknowledging responsibility too. I feel so utterly responsible not to waste any days or minutes. Not to squander whatever few talents I possess. Not to wish so much for tomorrow that I lose sight of today. To share and pass on what I can. To listen to young people; to encourage. To be honest with myself and others. To develop unfeigned, clarifying humility. To find something worthwhile within, no matter how meager, to give back to the earth and fellow beings and God each and every day.

At various times in our lives we come to grip in different ways and varying depths with the finite nature of our being. I remember only too well in my early 30's when the truth of death - my death - hit me. I immediately mentally shoved both feet on imaginary brakes. I was absolutely gripped with fear and anger and could not face this news. The ultimate cry of the ego - "how can I possibly no longer exist?" I remember asking God - pleading more like – ‘just give me some time to do the couple of things on my list so I can feel like I have truly lived’. And God did give me that time and I did accomplish those things. And life went on and my understanding of it in relation to death deepened. And I began to realize that the end of life marks not the end of choices but the beginning of some very significant ones that we must make if we are truly to feel peace and live to advantage, meaningfully, generously.

Such as? Well, for me it means choosing to live whatever years I have left within a conscious framework. Aging but not growing old in my mind or heart or soul. Remembering to laugh and play, to notice things and learn, to remember, to tie up loose ends so I can relax and dance on in life without worrying how long it might last. It means still having future dreams and working very hard to achieve them but living every day in the moment. And taking time each day for reflection - no matter how busy, there is always time for some stillness - a short walk, a few moments to watch the blue jays and the chipmunks, take pictures, read poetry, just gaze off into the horizon or watch other people go about their day. Time to talk with God. And to listen.

Thanks for walking along with me on my footpath this week.

Week 21:  The photos are HERE.

Sometimes I just feel bowled over by the nature of life and this was one of those weeks.  I hope this doesn’t sound gooey and syrupy but honestly I don’t think I have ever felt how precious the moments are in a day.  Or what opportunities there are within each day to create and use/develop whatever little talents God’s graced me with.  It hit me like a brick a couple of days ago. Musn’t squander. Will continue to make mental space free for breaks and keep walking, walking WALKING whenever, wherever I can.
  Walked 6 glorious miles on the trails yesterday. Lost another pound this week and the BP is pretty good.  124/85.  Getting there.
Soul Connection:
  This week the soul connection was with autumn and ‘life’.  Every turning leaf and ripening berry reminded me of life’s changes. Life lives to survive and ensure successive future generations.  We thankfully can leave most of that work to nature.  But how that future is molded is up to us and the decisions we make and the generosity and commitment with which we live out the days allotted to us.

A Time for Everything:

There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven.
A time to give birth, and a time to die; 
A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; 
A time to tear 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 throw stones, and a time to gather stones; 
A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; 
A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; 
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.

Ecclesiastes 3