Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Enjoying the Season Day Four

Week One: Preparing Our Homes for the Season

Day 4 Turn on your Senses - What Does Fall Look Like to You?

Today I'm not going to talk about the sense of sight, but rather the sense of "insight". "In" sight is the ability to see beyond simply identifying what something is. It's a form of intelligence that must be harnessed. Part of it is perception (to become aware of something through the senses, esp. sight. to come to comprehend, grasp or apprehend).

How we choose to look at the world around us, the season we are in (perhaps both literally and figuratively), and them process them, effects how we LIVE our lives. This is one of my favourite quotes of all time. I first heard it on the movie The Dead Poets Society.

248. To the Virgins, to make much of Time
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, 5
The higher he 's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he 's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer; 10
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime, 15
You may for ever tarry.
Robert Herrick

Autumn has the same span of months as the other three seasons, yet for some reason it often seems the shortest. We tend to "hold on" to summer as long as we can, and then winter has it's way and always arrives earlier than we like.

"There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

The essence of Herricks verse is... don't do that. Know the time you are in, embrace it and make the most of it, because the passage of time slows for no one. You cannot "hold" summer longer without forfeiting the present and then sensing a greater loss, because you missed the harvest splendour.

Having gone through many changes in our personal lives, I can really identify with that sentiment. If I had let go of wonderful "seasons" of my life more easily, perhaps I could have enjoyed the transitions mroe and settled into the next season with ease. Instead I fought the changing times, and I missed the passing beauty and celebration. If I had let things go or "die" in their natural course, I would have been more prepared to embrace the "new life" before me. I find I'm getting better at this...

"I prefer winter and fall,
when you feel the bone structure of the landscape -
the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.
Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show."
- Andrew Wyeth

So how do you see fall? Do you see the depth of the beauty, the signs indicating that another year is coming to a close. Do you reflect on the abundance you've had, the growth, the vitality you thrived in all summer?

When you compare the school pictures of your children from one September to the next, do you give your heart time to reflect? to grief? to hope? to cherish?

When you begin to clear your garden beds of the dying and spent foliage, do you take a moment to whisper your gratitude for the summer you had? For the growth you enjoyed? For the company you kept? or do you simply see another job to do in the yard?

That's what insight or perception is. It's simply looking past the simple visage, and apprehending the "something more". Sometimes that which is holy is found in the mundane simplicity of each day. We can travel the path of least resistance. It is more heavily trod afterall, and the passage through the seasons of life are probably "easier"; at the least we won't have to think much. Or we can choose the road less travelled. In doing so, we have to be aware of what's going on around us, in tune with our world, the passing of time and seasons and be at peace with it. It requires being uncomfortable at times, and awareness often brings pain and shadows. But it also brings great joy, celebration and hope.

The true beauty of fall is not only in the sunshine and colour of the leaves of a summer past. It is in the depth. The colour that becomes richer and deeper when the wind, the shadows and the approaching winter are also embraced without fear or remorse.


1 comment:

Cheryl said...

I love your choice of thought-provoking quotes and verses. And your reminder to embrace the season, the time we have. Inspiring.

(Thank you for visiting me and leaving your sweet comments. I am s-l-o-w-l-y making my way around to others' 31 day series. It comes from being a slow writer...and a slow-ish person in general, I suppose. But your lovely blog was well worth the visit, and I'll be back to read some more about "Enjoying the Season"!

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