16 November 2007

To everything a season

Probably the best and the worst aspects of blogging are the way it reminds you if you have or haven't been paying attention to your spiritual life.

Lately I've been caught up in the physical aspects of my life. As a landscape designer and installer, it's the time of year when things have to be put to bed, the last bulbs have to be planted, and generally there's a flurry of activity as one feels the chill set more and more into the air each day. At times like this, when I could probably use to be more centered, I arise from bed, mind already racing and rush off to work. Often it is mid-morning before things settle down enough that I mutter a quick "Thank you for this day." At the end of the day, I return, tired and worn out, and fall into bed.

After a few days like this, my mental and spiritual state begins to frazzle, and I am reminded that I need to return to my daily spiritual practices. At least it is only a few days. Used to be that months or weeks would go by, and it would be only when my life was falling apart around me that I would be reminded from deep inside of what it is that gives me my balance, that eternal source of all.

I've been thinking of the text, "To everything there is a season..." The other day, as one of my kids was watching a kids TV show, I heard the Dad of the family say, "That means God is always with you, through hard times and good." I've been raised in my early life as a congregationalist, where the passage was taught as, "God has a reason for that happening, whether you know it or see it now, or not." That was a peaceful thing in my teen years, but I outgrew it as I outgrew that community. It certainly makes more sense to me that God is always with me, through every season.

I've been focusing on accepting myself more, just as I believe the Eternal accepts me, through all the phases of my life. Not what others think, not what the community I am a part of thinks as a whole, but what I believe is the way God made me. I have always had my own rhythms and paces of life (don't we all), but I've spent a lot of time in life fighting against them. It was eye-opening to me when I began to study oriental herbology and my sensei pointed out to me that the philosphy of oriental medicine is to flow with the seasons. It was then that I began to see that I did have my own cycles, and began to listen to them.

Now I feel myself finishing the harvest, preparing for the long winter's nap. In my case, that means slowing the pace, going inward, preparing some indoor projects to feed my mind and body, and resting up before the spring's activity. I'm going to try and focus on renewing my spiritual practices, like yoga, writing, and prayer. I'm going to try and resist filling the days so full as I do in the summer, when the sun and the gardens edge me on. This seems like the season for more listening for me.

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