Today’s Word from Laura Canby…
To everything there is a season, and unto every purpose unto heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
I watched as an industrious gray squirrel climbed the heights of a very tall Douglas Fir yesterday. He darted from branch to swaying branch, skillfully plucking 20 or so pinecones which fell like darts to the ground below.
On the garden gate spiders had spun silken nets for a harvest of their own, but this morning’s yield was scant, containing only diamond-like drops of dew.
Rows of green tomatoes hang on the vine in my garden and it will be a race to see if they ripen into redness before the first frost. Fall, like the morning fog, is coming early this year.
Pandemic or not, seasons change according to earth’s own timetable.
Change is the only constant in life. Some changes we look forward to. Some we embrace. Some we seek to delay. Or deny. Or fear. But bidden or unbidden, change comes.
I am reminded of a reflection on the change of seasons (and its parallel to the seasons of life) in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to his granddaughter, Ann Cary Bankhead. Ann would die from complications after the birth of a fourth child and but a few months before her grandfather died. Jefferson’s wife and six of his seven children (at least his acknowledged children) had already passed many decades before him.
“. . . the flowers come forth like the belles of the day, have their short reign of beauty and splendour, and retire, like them, to the more interesting office of reproducing their like. The Hyacinths and Tulips are off the stage, the Irises are giving place to the Belladonnas, as these will to the Tuberoses as your Mama has done to you, my dear Anne, as you will do to the sisters of little John, and as I shall soon and cheerfully do to you all in wishing you a long, long, goodnight….” – Thomas Jefferson. Monticello. May 26, 1811
Change, like the seasons, has a rhythm all its own and speaks to the impermanence of life, at least in this temporal form.
During this pandemic, when everyday life seems out of rhythm, how do we live amidst so much uncertainty?
Perhaps it is by the faith that frees us to live amidst stress and storm with an inner calm anchored in the hope/belief/certainty of God’s promise that nothing will separate us from His love. (Some days it is a hope to me, and others, a belief, and I am growing toward certainty, as much as faith allows.)
About six years ago I wrote a poem with the perspective that our end is but a beginning – a change of season if you will.
A delve into my family tree
yields names, dates,
and a few old photos;
mere hints at the
joys, sorrows, fears and courage
which once existed,
and now are
…gone. All gone to
dust and bone.
And to what purpose?
Is life mere chance?
A brief cosmic breath,
transient as a wave?
I think I will choose
to hold with those who
‘have this hope,
as an anchor for the soul,
both firm and secure’*
— that this life is but