When my children were young we discovered what it meant to flow with the seasons of life. My husband and I had full-time careers, but our four children were at the center of our planning. It was our childrearing season. We flowed with that season.
When we remodeled our kitchen we asked the designer to put in a work island. He cautioned us that our space didn’t allow for the preferred clearance around the work island. I insisted that we move ahead, however, because while the designer was thinking of a place for meal preparation and eating, we were visualizing it as a family center.
We were right. On week nights it was a wonderful spot for completing homework assignments and craft projects. On weekends it became the family cooking center. Sundays after church we’d experiment with new recipes from the food section of the newspapers. The kids enjoyed chopping, grating, measuring, pouring, of course, taste testing. One of those recipes was such a hit with us that decades later it is still our favorite dish.
I successfully completed the season of childrearing and have enjoyed a number of other seasons since.
Right now I am in a season of mourning.
My 40-year-old son, Herbert Thomas Brown, III, died of a massive heart attack on January 24, 2016. He is the beautiful baby I’m holding in the image above. I learned in my grief support group that grief and mourning are not the same thing. While “grief” is the internal thoughts and feelings I have about my son, “mourning” is expressing how I feel on the outside, like talking about him here, crying, and celebrating his life on anniversary dates and throughout the year.
Even though at times I feel like I’m trampling through a strange new land without my familiar landmarks, slowed by tears and pain, I’m staying open as I continue to move forward on my unique journey through grief. Joining a support group is one part of my mourning and puts my grief in perspective, encouraging me to move at my own pace and in my own way to my eventual healing.
Another help has been reflective moments and meditations like the one below.
Your life, too, goes in seasons.
Throw your energy and efforts into the season you are currently living, rather than fighting against it. Resist the temptation to look back to a season that has passed or forward to one whose time has not come. Be fully in the season you are in, completing the activities that go with it.
Perhaps you are in your spring season, attending college, completing an internship, entering a new relationship, or reinventing your life. Open yourself to all the potential of the seeds you are planting in this season to create a firm foundation for the time when you will bloom.
Or perhaps you are in a cold and damp wintry season, at the end of a job, facing a scary medical diagnosis, feeling the loss of a relationship or the start of an uncertain new way of life. Examine what you need to remove from your life and what you need to gather to expedite the growth. Be patient with yourself as you grieve the loss or embrace the change and know that the new growth that is not yet visible is forming and preparing you to emerge to a full harvest.
To curse the season you are in is not productive. It makes you stuck and resentful. The worse part is you miss the beauty and gift of your current season and its potential for happiness. Notice the season you are in and flow with it.
What season are you in? What are you doing to flow with it? Tell us in the comments.