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Only three leaves
remain,
dancing precariously in the breeze,
holding onto the maple tree
in the backyard.

Not yet ready to let go.

Who is holding on
so tightly?
The tree or the leaves?

The geese fly
overhead
while the cold, wind, and
time
complete their work–
Making way for the
Season of Quiet and Rest.

*    *    *

I love living in a land of four seasons. The coming and going of the seasons have much to teach us if we are listening.  Although, I would love the four seasons even more if winter minded its calendar season here in Minnesota.  Three months would be plenty!  Five months of winter seems excessive.

Have you ever noticed that our lives are also made up of seasons? Seasons of abundance, seasons of quiet, seasons of barrenness, seasons of new growth, and seasons of great productivity. These seasons are echoed in our lives in terms of age; work; souls; and in the simple passing of each day.  There is a rhythm to seasonality.[1]

It is easy to lose our sense of or respect for this rhythm. Our culture tends to demonstrate and celebrate one season:  busy, full-tilt ahead, and time to get things done!

The other night, I almost invoked insomnia through the adrenaline-packed realization that October was almost over. Which means that it is almost Christmas.  And there is so much to do!

Remaining in the present moment seems impossible when Christmas looms ahead.

I’ve lost all sense of winter being a quiet season to rest. I wonder if this is one of the reasons that I’ve come to dread the Christmas season.   Life can become so frenzied as we over-commit, over-consume, and over-spend.  Our lives quickly fall out-of-rhythm.  Out-of-rhythm with our souls.  Out-of-rhythm with the season.

I wonder what would happen if I spent December, the darkest month of the year, looking for the you-are-with-me-ness of God? Noticing the Light in the darkness.  It’s difficult in a hurried and harried state.

Maybe I could start by spending November remembering and giving thanks for the gifts that this past year has brought.

And I don’t need to rush past this last week of October. I can enjoy the last bursts of color, the crisp air, and brilliant skies.

How can I cultivate a calm and grateful heart and home? Maybe I need to start by letting go of the crazy expectations I hold onto for the coming months.

Maybe I need to take a deep breath,
slow down,
and make space for a new season of quiet.

[1] As I was writing this, I realized that I’m probably borrowing concepts that I’ve read in John O’Donohue’s work, he speaks much of rhythm and seasons of the soul.  I also realized that I am echoing some beautiful thoughts that my brother-in-law shared on creative work and seasonality here: http://www.adfed.org/creative-work-seasonality-process-becoming/

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