The last week of September was the warm, sunny crown on a wonderful joy-filled summer. This season was the first time that I was not employed since my teen years. It invited me to experience and embrace a slower pace of life in new ways. Waking each morning, I appreciated the opportunity to just lie back, taking time to relax. I enjoyed planting, nurturing, watering, and watching my flowers blossom, abounding in color.
Time to Reflect
I reflected upon the beauty of nature, the moon and joy of evening sunsets. I pondered life, and our wholistic- mind, body and spiritual connection. Flora Slosson Wuellner, in her book, Miracle, When Christ Touches Our Deepest Need, identified two additional components of wholeness, “relationship and choices” (pg.15). These vital aspects of self-awareness invited me to re-evaluate a broader life framework in which to learn and grow within God’s creation. I also spent time just being, walking on the shores of Lake Erie, and chatting with family and friends. It was the first time in my life that I truly embraced that old Nat King Cole song “The Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer”. Quite honestly, I did not accomplish much, but my soul felt refreshed, nurtured, and filled with a joyous sense of contentment.
Fully rested, I enter this season of fall with a deep sense of delight and anticipation. Just as the leaves are beginning to change colors, I am pondering my next steps. Energized, I continue to read, reflect, engage with colleagues, attend in-person (fully masked) worship, and participate in zoom meetings. Grounded in my faith, I know that God is inviting me to enter my soon-to-be- revealed next life stage.
I look forward to the bold transforming color of fall, as the leaves from green into bright reds, oranges and deep browns. Pondering my amazing life experiences within my family, work, joy, and love, I am prayerfully discerning my next steps. How might I fully integrate my passions of faith, health and wholeness to make a difference within my community? How might I engage with others to share the light of Christ during this contentious time in our society? How might I fully embrace my sense of peace and vocational passions as I age?
The Transformative Nature of Fall
Filled with visions of wonder, bold color, and next steps, I am reminded that this season of transition is limited by the passage of time. The changing leaves on trees will be gone within six weeks as nature prepares to hunker down for the snows of winter. The challenge that continues to elude me throughout life is finding balance. Moving forward, how might I continue to practice joy and create time for reflective behaviors, while still preparing to step out? Just as the leaves change color and the bold nature of fall comes to an end, I am humbly reminded of the truly limited gift of time.
Mary Oliver, in her poem “When Death Comes” affirms life’s finite nature:
“And therefore I look upon everything
As a brotherhood and sisterhood,
And I look upon time as no more than an idea,
And I consider eternity as another possibility,”
I pray that time will continue to be a gift that opens each day bringing new opportunities to reflect, find joy, serve others, and make a difference within this, God’s amazing Creation.