Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Seasons of Life

I have been thinking lately about how we can divide up our life into seasons of the year. Think about it: spring represents birth to about 20 years, summer represents 20-40, fall is 40-60 and winter is 60-death.

In spring, new life starts. Caterpillars metamorphosise into butterflys. Everything is in bloom. The plants and flowers come to life. Everything is vibrant. We are born, having metamorphosised from a simple organism in water to we come out of own cocoon into the air, spreading our own wings. We plant the seeds and we weather the storms. When we are young, we quickly learn new things; we explore the world around us and our bodies and minds grow rapidly.

During the summer everything is green. The fruits of the plants and trees begin to develop. The insects and animals are hard at work. As humans, we toil and begin to produce. We struggle and jockey for our position in life. We move beyond the confines of our youth and stake out our territory. The lucky ones marry and start a family.

Here I am entering what would be the fall of my life as I think about these things. It is a time for harvest. It is a time when we generally are at our most productive. We store the harvested food for the winter that is to come. It is a time to reminisce and think about the seasons past and prepare for the cold that is setting in. During the fall the plants and trees begin to break down as they lose the green of summer. Yet, there is a beauty of the changing colors.


(ALL THE) SLEEPLESS DREAMERS
by Mark Heard.

All the sleepless dreamers
Dream their visions of no renown
All tomorrow's unforeseen
And time is a'running down

Cast away the tether lines
And take to the boundaries main
Different horizons all the time
Identical, just the same

Can the loner stand alone
Can the unsown seed be sown
Carry on, carry on
While the path remains unknown

All the ageless seasons
Roll their course in a single day
All the ageless reasons why
Unfold just to slip away

All the lovers
Love to show the way
They can hide their tears
But all the lovers come and go
And fade with the passing years

Can the loner stand alone
Can the unsown seed be sown
Carry on, carry on
While the path remains unknown

During the winter the flowers have withered away and the trees have lost all their leaves. The landscape is cold and gray. Because of the cold, we move slower. Our bodies hurt. Soon the winter of life overtakes us, and we return to the ground.

Sometimes I wax philosophical like that. I guess one of the reasons that I liked Mark Heard's music was that his music expressed the human condition in a realistic way -- unlike much of Christian music today. It was poetic and thoughtful, while still expressing a Christian worldview. I guess I see a lot of my own thinking in his art.

As an interesting note, there seems to be a disproportionate number of his fans who became attorneys. Go figure.

1 comment:

teripittman said...

I look at it a bit differently. I once read that you replace every cell in your body every seven years. In essence, you are a totally new person every 7 years. This is a lot more hopeful than thinking that I am in the winter of my life. It means that I am always renewing myself and turning out just a slightly different version. This version seems be a bit closer to the version 4 model (28-35) than the previous model was. I'm recovering skills I haven't used in over 20 years.