Respecting The Seasons

My glass birdbath broke and filled the fall leaves with shards of glass. Anyone who knows me knows I live for being barefoot in the garden, and my kids follow my barefoot steps. So I found myself gingerly scooping up leaves and glass at the base of a large sweet gum tree at the edge of our garden, trying to make it safe to step through again.

As I cleared away a handful of dead leaves I saw the bright, clean, green of a daffodil shoot. Straight as an arrow, it reached toward the winter sky and all I could think was delirious joy that it was spring, then a crashing disappointment when I remembered it was only January. And why was this little gal blooming at the wrong time? In the wrong season?

This little daffodil had the capacity for growth. And who was I to judge? It might be the wrong season, but this was her season.

We often find ourselves looking around at each other’s growth-or lack thereof-and trying to determine how they do it all, or if they should be doing more, or if they do too much.

Lately I’ve decided I want to try to make a conscious effort to respect the seasons. Respect the seasons I am in, and share the work that I’ve put into my piano music, my piano lessons studio, and my books. Respect the seasons that others are in-when they have accomplished more than I have or have enjoyed the fruits of their labor, or run faster or further than I have. And respecting myself, and the past seasons I was in where I didn’t think I would even come as far as I have.

I’ll tell you the hardest season for me to respect: the one when I came back from overseas travel and felt a bit lost and spent the majority of my year playing Mario Kart. I felt like I lost time in my career, in my work ethic, in my goals. At the end of the day, I have made peace with the fact that it was the season I was in. I needed to decompress from my travels. I was still exercising, and getting together with friends, I was just a bit aimless at the time.

A season that is easier for me to respect is the one in which my babies were being born. Some of my professional goals were on hold-including having given up a scholarship for piano performance. Yet when I think about those years with my little ones, I know I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And I never estimated what it would require of me mentally and physically. I believe my youngest was almost three by the time I got back into running. I joked that I finally felt human again, but it’s true those seasons require so much out of us. It’s also true that I remember thinking I felt guilty, like I should have been doing more, but didn’t realize how much I could accomplish later in life, and that what I did at the time was-for me personally-the most precious work.

One of the things I dwell on frequently is having seasons of input & output. This little idea came to me when I was thinking about how audio channels work on my keyboard.

As silly as it sounds these little words made me think about my work life differently. About four years ago, I quit binge watching shows and even reading novels because I wanted to focus on writing my own book. It ended up being better than I ever could have dreamed, and I’ve only watched about 2 series’ since 2016, and very few movies. I’m not saying that’s right for everyone, I’m saying that I realized I had been consuming content for years, and I wanted to create music and books. I had to switch channels and start doing the work to create, not just consume.

Seasons can be full of growth, visible to everyone around us, or dormant, when the soil around us is changing to prepare for the next bursting forth of life and color. When it is dormant, we are still consuming nutrients, ideas, or nurturing from the life around us, that we will perhaps draw from when our own dreams come to fruition.

Do you feel like you have trouble respecting the season you are in, or viewing it as a season, or have you made peace with where you are at in life?

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