“To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under Heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep”
I have always loved this song, by Pete Seeger, and well, kind of heavily inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes. The words, I remember, were read by the Minister at both my parents’ funerals. I didn’t really hear the words during the service for my Mom – but I sure did for my Dad. A time for everything and everything in its time.
It is time… but for what?
What I don’t like is that I never know what time it is! What season is it? The calendar will tell me it is winter – and so will the snow! Yet, in so many ways, I feel that it is spring. And in so many ways, I blame cancer for this. Cancer brought me to the edge of my life: Stage 4. I thought that was the end – there is no stage 5. I said my prayers. I arranged my will. I put my faith in a Higher Power and simply “let go” of the balloon I called control. And off it flew – taken by the swift current of the winds to the high Heavens above. I’ve not seen much of it since that day. And this has made all the difference.
It is time… to take note.
Although I would not wish it upon anyone, I have been able to find new life after what I believed to be the winter of my life. Again, I remark on the power of contrasts: without winter, we do not appreciate spring; without death, we do not appreciate life; without shoveling, we do not appreciate rest. Stage 5, to me, has meant breathing more deeply. It has meant living life in the marrow – consuming the entire meal placed before me. Or at least I try. It has meant awakening each morning and reciting the date with an assurance that the day is a gift given specifically to me – and it is up to me to take advantage of it.
It is time… to slow down.
The winter winds blow outside and the snow continues to fall. It is indeed winter. Winter is a time to rest, to recover, to take refuge from the assaults that life may have thrown. In winter, there is no worry, there is no future, it is here and now. Frozen in time. We preserve memories from a more active season. Through the winter, my mind springs to life and my thoughts become animations which dance across the lines on my page. There are no limits – the words build deeper as they pile into sentences, then paragraphs, then stories. I hit “publish” to shovel them aside, and, in that way, more words can fall gently onto the black surface.
It is time… to wake up.
What words will you write in your winter? How much snow will fall? Will you awaken to a new life? Is it time? Down, down, down they fall to make a winter wonderland of white light and wonder. Soft, soft, soft, they fall – every so silently we hardly take note. Yet, at the end of the season, we know we’ve changed. The snow turns to water as it is warmed by the spring sun. Life. It becomes more apparent. Easy. Our eyes believe that which our souls doubted in winter. Drink it in. Give your soul a cleanse. Wake up, wake up, wake up!
There is a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven.
It’s just that Mother Nature plays tricks on us. Let us believe with our hearts, in the seasons, and not just our eyes. Winter does not last forever and spring does not really leave. What season is in your heart today? What time is it for you?
Time to live!