the last leaf…

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31/05/2011 by Sarah Ritchie

the last leaf

Today is, officially, the last day of autumn here in the deep south of the world. As the remaining leaves are blown from the trees my thoughts turn to seasons and cycles.

I think of how amazing the cycle of the weather is. The earth requires the full compliment of heat, rain, frosts/snow and winds for the soil to be renewed, for plants and crops to grow, for seed to be produced, and for birds and animals to reproduce in their season. The year-long dance of the natural world has been perfectly choreographed and we are swept along for the duration of the performance. I constantly marvel at the precision by which the seasons turn.

Now we must say goodbye to autumn and prepare for the winter months and it is easy for me to feel down about winter coming (I don’t much enjoy the cold). It’s at times like this that I have to remind myself that winter plays a vital role in the natural order of things. We need winter to bring the rain to soak the earth. We need the snow to break up the soil so crops can thrive. We need the wind to move the rain clouds around the land and to spread the pollen liberally. I have to understand that it is all ordered, and necessary and should be viewed with gladness rather than contempt.

Kind of like life really. When I was a child I (apparently) said to my mother “Mummy, how would we know what is good unless we know what is evil?.” Even in my childish mind I could see that we needed to see there was the dark to appreciate the light. The world and life (being what it is) we will end up going through some seasons that are tougher than others, and often those seasons will be sprinkled with life-lessons that we need to soak up. Sometimes the darker months help us to appreciate the lighter months more. Sometimes they are there to affect a change on the inside…maybe our hard, internal heart-soil needs to be broken up by the snow so that we can blossom and grow in the spring.

Let’s learn to understand the value of the seasons…both in our back yard, and in life, so that we can mature and grow as we need to. If you water your life with God’s love you will discover that the winter months are necessary, bearable, fruitful and colourful, and in the spring you will emerge as a stronger person, ready to stretch toward the sun!

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