Types of Harvest

It is interesting when you look at autumn and the types of harvest you can have at this season of the year. On one hand you have the apparent lack of leaves on the trees as they fall to the ground and the branches of the trees begin to look bare and empty. But you also have the ripening of fruit and nuts as they begin to be stored up by the animals in preparation for the long winter ahead.

There are many types of harvest but it is also a season where you can focus on the lack of what you think you don’t have or on the abundance that is actually there. It can be so easy to focus on the negative in our lives and how much we are missing.

Autumn is also a time where the day begins to close in and the days get shorter. It is a time of preparing for the winter not only for the animals but also for us. You can prepare for things to change – for example, a child leaving home and going out into the big wide world to discover new horizons. You could focus on the loss, or the empty nest or set your mind on what you have instead.

I think it is not a mistake that schools start back in the autumn. It is an easier time when they have been off over the summer and storing up vitamin levels in their bodies. This means they have a great chance to harvest the vitamins from the abundance they have gained.

Types of harvest could even refer to money. If you have invested wisely through your life, you may get to enjoy the fruits of your labour and have enough to see you through the winter of your life.

The things that cannot be bought can be focused on during this time of autumn/fall/harvest. Take something like love, for example. When a baby is born (well even before it is born) you talk to the baby and express things to the baby and tell him or her how much you love them. However, you do not gain that back in speech until the child moves on a few stages and says they love you in return. You do get an abundance of love in return and them expressing it to you is the harvest you reap.

You reap what you sow. So what are you going to sow in your life today? Love, affection, happiness, care and all the other things that cannot be bought would be the best things to cultivate both now and in the future.

The Summer of Life

The summer of life. What a beautiful statement to be able to make. Just think about it a bit. Summer is beautiful and warm and refreshing. You can sit outside and just soak up the sun’s rays.

So exactly what do we get in this season of life? The vision of summer conjures up images of people on rivers or canals in some kind of boat. Or maybe you’re not that kind of person. Perhaps you like the beach? Or do you go exploring?

Kevin and I love nothing more than to pick a place on the map and tell the navigation to ignore all motorways. We have discovered beautiful countryside this way. And met some lovely people doing different crafting things.

Summer holidays are also part of the equation of it all. Children have a break during this period and they mostly love it! This is a beautiful time where they are able to grow and explore and learn and develop without the constraints of the classroom.

But what about the summer of life? The one within your heart and soul? It is a time where you get to rejoice at the beauty surrounding you as the plants and trees bear fruit. This is not the time for gathering it all up – it needs to grow to full fruition.

My summer of life is wild and exciting. I am looking forward to the full beauty at the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn where we begin to gather the fruit in and store it up for the season that is coming.

You might wonder how I know this is the season of life that I am in. Well, I will tell you. My winter season has been and gone, the leanness of nothing within is past. Spring entered my soul and I can point to the places where small seeds began to sprout. Now I am starting to know and understand things I never did before. I am beginning to see ideas spring from my mind and learn the beauty of colour and words and shape and form.

Are you also in the summer of your life? What can you see emerging from the seeds that were planted during the springtime? Your life is important and precious and I would love to hear from you.

Spring ushers in new life

photo courtesy of Cheryl-Charles Wentland-Davis

Spring ushers in new life. All around you see beautiful signs of that growth beginning. Yellow is one of the most prominent colours of the season, for example winter aconite, crocus & daffodils shine brightly in spring.

I never really thought about it seriously before. Yes, I knew there was spring and the buds on the trees promised the new life that was to come. And that it was the time lambs were born and you could see them in the fields. But I never considered spring itself.

We all go through different seasons in our lives. My best “spring” was when I met Kevin. In fact, we actually met on 1 March so it was spring outside combined with spring in my heart. It was a new and blessed time for the two of us as we developed our relationship with each other.

I think the interesting thing is that we sometimes go through what seems a mix of seasons at the same time and the lines are never totally defined. In some ways it can be winter and spring at the same time.

Natalie was stillborn on 12 February and although it was one of the most difficult situations Kevin and I had encountered in our marriage thus far. In some ways it was the spring of a new chapter of understanding each other but also the ending of a life that we had been expecting.

Spring is also the season that many children are accepted into the church with their first communion as they begin their new life in Christ. Again this signifies the end of something and the beginning of another.

Actually whenever there is spring or the start of something new, there is always the death of something else. Or another way of looking at it is that when you say yes at the same time you are saying no. For example, yes to joining your life with another, making decisions jointly and no to a single life where you don’t have to check with anyone else because you are alone.

photo courtesy of Cheryl-Charles Wentland-Davis

A spring season in your life can give you such newness and growth and development within yourself that you never imagined you could have. I love the spring feeling and the promise of leaves and fruit to come. Does it always happen? No. But mostly it does. And the promise can bring such delight and joy to your life.

Are you in a spring season of promise in your life? Looking at the beginning of the leaves and flowers of new growth? When something new starts, the old has to go and be left behind. And that’s ok. You can mourn over the past or you can be joyful because of the newness to come. It is your choice what you want to do.

Trees and their significance

Photo courtesy of Ailie Bauman

I was chatting with one of my friends earlier today and we were talking about trees and their significance to each of us. She had shown me a drawing she had made of an oak tree in winter.

We then started to discuss trees and how they look so mystically majestic in winter time. They show off their proud beauty when they share their total emptiness of both fruit and leaves. If you go in winter to view a forest, it looks entirely different to how it looks in summer because they are different seasons.

Winter is a time when animals hibernate and deciduous trees have shed their leaves and stand tall and proud in their own beauty. It is also a time when they use the cold weather and begin to build up the reserves they need for the next cycle of seasons coming up. I remember in Laura Ingalls Wilder book (I think it was Farmer Boy if I remember correctly) that Alonzo’s Father called snow the “poor man’s fertilizer” and he used it himself to help prepare the ground for the coming seasons.

I then started to think about how our lives are similar to that. We go through seasons in life. Seasons of growth and seasons of cutting back. Seasons where we feel we are alone and naked in our bareness and completely exposed to the elements. There are times we feel that we are in a holding place or that we are being cut back for new growth to form.

Sometimes we feel naked and exposed to the elements. A tree doesn’t grow strong when it is sheltered by anything else – it grows strong when it is exposed to the elements and can stand on its own. I felt so exposed when we lost our stillborn daughter, Natalie. I felt naked and lost in my own storm. But it helped me to grow into the next season of my life. However, I didn’t understand that at the time it was happening.

Just like the tree, we can stand in the majestic mystical beauty of our bareness and grow ready for the next season of life. Sometimes our lives feel “put on hold” but this is a season where we can cut back and rest and recover for the next growing season.

What season in life are you in just now? I would say that I am in the spring as I begin to flower and bloom and grow my business. I don’t know the fullness of myself or my business but I DO know that I CAN grow into the next season of my life and reach the time of ripened fruit.

I would love to hear what season you believe you are in at the moment and why you think that. It is so interesting to discover that we are all on this cycle of growing and changing but we don’t all do it at exactly the same time. If everyone were babies at the same time there would be nobody to look after them and feed and clothe them and ensure they were safe and warm.