In my most recent post I referred to a book by Parker J. Palmer entitled “Let Your Life Speak”
I refer you to it once again in this short blog in respect of a very particular aspect in which the author relates his life to the four seasons;
Autumn – a season of great beauty, but also of decline – a paradox of both dying and seeding.
Winter – a season of deep rest, a time of renewal, discipline and utter clarity
Spring – a season of rebirth, green shoots, a thaw in relationships, procreation
Summer – a season of abundance, community, a realisation of our hopes.
Parker J Palmer’s explanation of the seasons in his life are marvelous and very thought provoking, and here is how I have responded to his premise that our lives can be lived in seasons.
Notice that I have not mentioned the weather, and neither really does he. Our lives, especially those of us who are managing an inner conflict, will be a mixture of light and shadow in all the seasons of our lives.
I have been impressed by the notion that the seasons can pretty easily categorized in the context of our whole life – we are born – we live – we love – we lose – we love again – we die
I have been further impressed by this new notion that is explained by Parker J Palmer that we can live out the four seasons in any order in a day; a week in a month or in the time in takes us to emerge from a thought with a resolve to respond to it in the way that we chose to do.
Let me explain how I have tried to use the seasons to explain my thoughts and feelings.
My Autumn – great blowing winds that tossed me between all manner of indecision and fear, and yet an emerging recognition that I would have to change/adapt the foundations on which my life had been built. This churning of thought, and indecisiveness, kept me restless and anxious and fearful for many years, but during that time my old way of living was slowly dying and a new truth was sown.
My Winter – In the days before I acknowledged to the world my homosexuality, after years of suppressing the truth of my feelings, I came to a place from which a great calm and clarity emerged, where, uncertain of the outcome, I had to communicate my truth to those who loved me.
My Spring – I communicated my truth and received the support of my wife and brother, they in turn helped me to seek professional help through coaching to help me accept myself after years of self-rejection and shame. The seeds I had sown in My Autumn were developing green shoots which pushed through the hard soil of my fear and hurt.
My Summer – Married and Gay; Catholic and Gay; Living in the Present, accepted and loved by those close to me in the full knowledge of my truth; learning to accept and love my full self – abundance at last – a reward for My Autumn storms, My Winter calm; and My Spring growth.
I like to live in seasons every day – by this I mean learning to cope with inner conflict; regret, anxiety, fear, sadness, failure, disappointment, stress and emerging from these aspects in shadow and light so that at least in some part of the day an old destructive thought has succumbed to the green shoots of change and happiness.
My next blog will be Dear Daughter…