“As around the sun, the earth knows she's revolving / and the rosebuds know to bloom in early May […] Just as time knew to move on since the beginning, and the seasons know exactly when to change … ” With those lines, I’d imagine the great Stevie Wonder knew he had a hit. But he might not have imagined it’d be used like this.
While this song may have been written as an ode to love, it also offers an understanding of the givens of life at large. Things change — all around us, for us, and within us. Wonder's popular song “As” makes me think about the significance and specialness of knowing exactly when to do, change, or be something in your/a respective season.
When we take the time to reflect on the natural environment, we can observe a complex and beautiful world cycling through patterns, phases and through stages of transition. We also quickly realize that nothing ever stands still, and that nothing ever maintains its current state or identity for long. As humans, we undergo constant physical and psychological changes over the course of our lives. Transitions are hard, but they’re always necessary.
We’re right in the midst of a transition right now; summer is ending and the fall and winter seasons are swiftly approaching. The zest that many feel as spring rolls out and summer rolls in begins to fade with the thought of the leaves falling, the air becoming crisper, and the days becoming shorter. Every year around this time, many find themselves waiting impatiently for the warmer months to make their way back around. In my experience, it seems like many people place more expectations on certain seasons or specific parts of the (seasonal) journey.
If we take a moment to reflect, it becomes clear that our lives will always mirror nature. Take trees, for example. Trees are full of life in the summer and bare a few months later, all while still representing beauty, wisdom, and the miracles of growth at every stage in between. Some of their days might be better than others, but it doesn’t change the inherent worth of who or what they are. The same goes for us. Regardless of their phase, trees stand tall and remain firmly planted. Wangari Maathai reminds us that “a tree has roots in the soil yet reaches the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded and that no matter how high we go, it is from our roots that we draw sustenance.”
And just as we transform, flowers do too. They remind us that we all bloom in our own time. We can never really know what a flower has endured to penetrate the earth and reveal its bounty and beauty to us.
Every transformation makes room for something bolder and newer than what’s come before it. It’s my hope that whatever your new season is, you allow yourself to feed off the wisdom of your experiences and find solace in stillness.
I'd like to think that the seasons don’t spend time comparing themselves to each other. They understand they each have inherent value all on their own. Spring, winter, summer, and fall all offer their own unique comforts and wonders. As you transform in your own various terrains, I hope you’ll remember your own individuality with reverence, honor, kindness, compassion, and love.