Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little by Little the Year Grows Old

Little by little the year grows old,
The red leaves drop from the maple boughs;
The sun grows dim, and the winds blow cold,
Down from the distant arctic seas.

Out of the skies the soft light dies,
And the shadows of autumn come creeping over,
And the bee and the bird are no longer heard
In grove or meadow, or field of clover.

Little by little our lives grow old,
Our faces no longer are fair to see;
For gray creeps into the curls of gold,
And the red fades out of the cheeks, ah me!

And the birds that sang till our heart strings rang
With strains of hope, and joy, and pleasure,
Have flown away; and our hearts today
Hear only the weird wind's solemn measure.

Youth and summer, and beauty and bloom,
Droop and die in the autumn weather,
But up from the gloom of the winter's tomb,
They shall rise, in God's good time, together.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When I compare the seasons of my life with the seasons of the year, it all makes sense to me. Life is similar to a wheel;  it has its seasons.  It turns and moves forward. I think back now to when I was young, and my grandmother was younger than I am now, I saw her as old.   She was in the Winter of her life...but that was my perception.  When I was a teen,  I thought everyone over 30 was old.  I couldn't  foresee myself that way.  When we are young, we believe we will be eternally young, but life doesn't work that way. It continues to turn, as the wheel of the year, and we, just as the earth, move steadily through our seasons in our journey through life.
Now, in the Autumn of my life, it seems that Spring and Summer, the early years of my life,  passed by so quickly, yet crawled along so slowly as I lived them.  Spring, the first season of my life, was a time of growth, a time of wonder and amazement.  I was so busy exploring the newness of the world, that I saw not that the wheel was turning. Childhood was a time to  play and romp with friends, a carefree time when life seemed as it it would last forever, but, alas...

...soon enough came the heat and weight of Summer, and with it, all that comes with, paying bills, getting ahead, much activity filled the days.  Suddenly, my world was filled responsibility.  It was time to put to use the foundations I had  planted in the Spring.  But what of those of us who laid no foundations?   We learned through trial and error. I chose the wrong men and found myself mired for many years in bad marriages.  I felt lost and helpless, for oh so long, and then, just when finally got it right....

...along comes Autumn. The wheel had continued to turn.  The leaves begin to fall as the earth winds down its activities and the warm days of summer give way to the cool, crisp days of Autumn. It is time for the harvest, a time to reap what we have sown. Things once thought young forever are beginning to fade. My body doesn't work as well as it once did, and my mind tends to forget things, a little more often; but  while I may not remember where I put my house keys, I find myself remembering what used to be, and once more, the joys of childhood begin to take center stage. I find it so amazing that, for so many years, those  memories were pushed back into the subconscious, only to be reborn in the Autumn of our lives.  And, before we know it...

...we will find ourselves in the Winter of life.  And I know, I just know that there will be joy there as well for the love of those around us, the joy of watching them live their lives will carry us through.

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