272 Seasons

272  are how many seasons that have come and went over the course of my short life. Each season brings changes that reflect both the weather and the time frame in which it occurred.

One of my favorite musicals, “Fiddler on the Roof” has a beautiful song that speaks of  the seasons morphing into Sunrises and Sunsets. Written in 1964 by composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick, “Sunrise, Sunset” speaks of the calendar of life.

“Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don’t remember growing older. When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall? Wasn’t it yesterday that they were small?

Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly flow the days, Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, Blossoming even as they gaze

Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly fly the years, One seasons following another, Laden with happiness and tears, One season following another, Laden with happiness and tears…Sunrise, Sunset.”

Our ability to look back through the decades of our lives reflects a common theme. No matter how good or how bad the times were, they change swiftly, like the seasons. Each season is memorable in the victories and defeats we experience. Sometimes one season can change us for a lifetime.

Marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a parent or close friend, changes us like the seasons we bask in.  We can feel when Winter is coming or the first bloom of Spring, lifting our spirits because of the warmth of the sun.

As we grow older and we’re not in such a regimented existence, time seems to speed up. The regimentation begins in Kindergarten moving through College and then into a job. All these elements of discipline require a time schedule.

It seems that for most people the discipline of organizational structure relies on patterns. The pattern of time, meals, routes, and scheduled time off. The Hamster wheel is very comfortable for most. Switching off the thought process to navigate as a robot affords most the luxury of a comfort zone.

Unfortunately our lives are relatively short. This means that for most people experiencing the thrill of life’s adventures becomes uncomfortable because this breaks the routine of self-inflicted patterns.

If we are goal oriented and soldier ahead with the end game in mind we can find that experiencing the thrill of life’s adventures is our reward. This honors both sides of the spectrum, routine and adventure.

I’ve had to think about the seasons that were the most reflective and thought provoking. In addition to life and death situations it is the change of circumstance that brings to light the abstract and the actual. Sometimes we envision a place or person will enhance life’s beautiful orb of possibility.

As a child we believe anything is possible. We dream of castles in the stars or far off lands to explore. As we get older most listen to the negativity from others that keeps forming a box around our mind. It’s easier not to try then to try and be defeated.

However, most people will agree that our greatest lessons come from our defeats. If we don’t repeat that same mistake we can grow as a person and become much more affective in determining what our future life can be.

With the sunrise, it’s about jumpstarting the day with purpose and a hearty dose of optimism. With the sunset, it’s about slowing down and savoring life’s flavors, recognizing that every day is a unique blend of sweet and savory.

Each season we experience is an expression of God painting from a pallet that brings nature to life. I see the Daffodils and Tulips ushering in Spring and the birth of wildflowers cascading across meadows with color and scent.

As Summer approaches and the Spring rains have mostly drawn their seasonal curtain until Winter, we now relish the activities of Summer. Boating, hiking, camping, and picking the berries that surround us for the pies we so look forward to devouring. This becomes a season full of life.

Farther from the beginning than the end our seasonal curtain will at some point be drawn. The many memories will be but a foot note in a life that dreamed big (not always succeeding, but never giving up).

Keeping our word through-out those 272 seasons becomes one of the most important aspects related to success. Internally, if your word is your contract you can live through each season with the tranquility that comes with a decision your parents instilled in you when you were young.

The strength that comes with peace of mind can make any season a beautiful adventure. Then we can behold the wonder of discovery and the expansion of horizons never thought possible but achieved by the greatest distance we’ll ever travel… the distance between our ears.