What season of life are you in?
I am celebrating this transition from the midst of a bittersweet moment. We spent last week cleaning out my parent's estate. Going through closets and personal effects, I stumbled on long-forgotten memorabilia - photos, journals, artwork, my mother's wedding dress, books inscribed from birthdays and holidays.
At first I couldn't bear moving anything from its place. I didn't want to unplug a lamp or take books off my dad's shelves. Slowly the sting of it all coming down passed and it hit me - this whole house has to go somewhere. And then it just started to dislodge and slowly I let go.
My parents were not their things, and it's the great irony of life: we take nothing with us when we leave this place. These things are merely memory-poking reminders and show remnants of who they were: their quirks, their own inside jokes, their interests and their 46-year marriage.
This whole experience has granted me a pause and an opportunity to ask what season am I actually in right now?
Just a year ago my family was packing up for our annual Fourth of July trip. We'd find a cabin someplace, tucked in the mountains or on the coast, and spend a week BBQing, puzzling, roasting marshmallows, hiking, and feeding our family's inside jokes with new fuel.
But not this year. There's this massive chapter of my life that has just commenced. As much as I'd like to enjoy this season, it would dishonor where I actually am. I've come to appreciate that rhythms are a gift but we have to acknowledge their existence, even when it is super inconvenient or painful to do so.
Oddly, it's a welcome inquiry and one I think we too often shy away from. When was the last time you really thought about what season your life is lending you right now? What is moving through you? What wants to be born from you?
I feel strongly that you can stay in a single season for years or even weeks. You will return to seasons over time and you may even find that one season is your greatest teacher and possibly the one you came here to learn the most from.
There are many teachings available on the seasons of life. Below is my interpretation as well as a journal prompt for the season you feel most aligned with right now.
Summer is the season of light, heat, full bloom, and fire. This season is the fruit of your roots; the things you plant with intention and purpose will eventually come to fulfillment. This season can feel oddly easy and you may even find yourself wondering, "When will the other shoe drop?" Careful not to feed this fear. Fall will soon follow so there is no need to rush the joy from this high noon season of life.
Journal Prompt for Summer: What have I nurtured to its full realization that it's time to fully appreciate?
Fall is the season of dusk, sharp clarity, learnings, and metal. It's a cool and clean season but may be limited in action. This is a season for planting new seeds and preparation to be still. This season can feel refreshing like a crisp fall morning walk but it may also feel stagnant. Not all seasons are ripe with fruit; enjoy the heartier stock of this season. Clean things out and trim your life back. This is a time for reflection and self-honesty. In the fall if you don't cut back your perennials by the next summer they won't bloom. What needs clearing?
Journal Prompt for Fall: Where is reflection needed and what feels refreshing to trim away?
Winter is the season for stillness, finding warmth, and water. Whatever lands you in a winter season is likely to come with hardship and an unwanted transition. It leaves you desiring the old but knowing there is no going back so you are thrust into the nebulous water where all of creation is possible. This is a season that brings that most discomfort which can cause you to move through it too quickly. Be still and gentle with yourself during this season. Spring will always come, but the seeds that are to bloom are created with what you do with your winter season.
Journal Prompt for Winter: Although uncomfortable, what form of stillness is beckoning me?
Spring is the season for renewal, rebirth, and earth. You'll know you've entered spring because you feel light but evanescent. One slightly warmer day is revelatory to the whole system in this season and you are captured by a sense of real possibility again. Similar to fall, this season can be easy to rush, but remember an action in spring is about preparation for new full blooms. Are you tilling, pulling weeds, and preparing what is wanting to move toward the eventual light of summer?
Journal Prompt for Spring: What feels possible now and how do I want to cultivate it?