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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Not an Autism post: The Barren Winter

As I was driving today I saw such beautiful scenery - it was all I could do to keep driving and not pull over and sit in the silence for a while. I noticed the pristine snow on the mountains as I headed south. There was thick fog that went from the valley to the mid-mountain area, making the mountain look like it was floating on the clouds. What few trees existed were barren and the glories of spring were buried underneath the layers of snow and ice.

I found myself pondering how very like nature we are - again. The glories of spring and summer, as they fade into fall and finally seem to be lost in winter, are never really that far away. Spring brings forth the blossom and the bud, evidence that life still exists. Summer is the time for growth and fruit. Fall is the time for harvesting and pruning back. Then there is the quiet winter - time for reflection and introspection.

There is an even flow to nature, all seasons are important and necessary. To live life without them would be wasteful and fruitless. And the older I grow, the more I come to appreciate the "winter" of life. There is much to be said for times of reflection on both my own life and the wisdom in the lives of those who have gone before me. If I wish to learn and to improve, winter must come regularly, in it's duly appointed time.

As I watched the sun crest the mountain and felt the warmth of it's rays on my arm and the side of my face I was again struck by the glory of God's creations. The snow became fire and the mountains in the distance to the south began to change from shades of pink, to shades of yellow, to brilliance. I suppose that is what happens to each of us as we allow God to touch our hearts. We grow and we change and we become more than we ever imagined possible. We see more clearly and understand more fully.

I found my thoughts going to the idea of acceptance of myself and others. Each of us enters different seasons of growth again and again throughout our lives. I wondered how open I was to accepting my own season and accepting those who were growing in areas different than my own. I thought on how often I had "should have" myself into a place of stress - where no true progress could be made. How much more simple progression felt in this early morning light of acceptance and love.

We find joy in the changes of spring that bring new life and new hope. We have fulfillment in the growth of summer and the fruits of our hopeful spring. We are grateful in the pruning moderation of fall that reminds us to keep ourselves in balance. And we rejoice, greatly, in the reflection of winter that allows us to meditate on where we have been, where we are headed, and anticipate the new path that will unfold in front of us next spring.

In our reflection is the blossom of spring, given warmth by the heat of summers past burning in our hearts, and made fertile by the memories of fall - all are treasured up and held sacred through the barren winter.