The concept of seasons has been on my mind lately, perhaps it is the start of summer that has me thinking. However, I have been reflecting not so much on the annual seasons, but the seasons of life. Some are long and some are short, and I am much more aware of these seasons of life than ever before. I think of a number of seasons in my personal life:
In the midst of these seasons, the experiences and associated feelings seem permanent: injuries will never heal, wedding invitations will come every year, dogs will play forever. But then these seasons end, and strangely, as time passes, the very opposite occurs: the seasons which occupied so much of our lives now feel very distant.
Time flows by. Like water in your hands, we can never hold onto it. I believe photography is a coping mechanism that helps us deal with the stress of passing time: we can capture images—freeze moments in time—that live permanently on the screen or paper. Grandma is still in the garden, babies are still babies, and summer is still summer.
I loved living in the Caribbean, the weather was essentially the same every day and the hours of sunlight changed very little from winter to summer. I remember returning home several times from dog walks, wiping sweat from my face, and looking up and seeing football on TV. I would be very confused, because it was still “summer” outside. The flow of time was far less perceptible there and I felt at peace. For example, I didn’t’ feel the pressure in August to pack in as much summer activities as I could as the days began to shorten. When living in the Caribbean, if I didn’t do something “fun” this weekend, it didn’t matter, because there were 51 other weekends with virtually the same conditions. Unfortunately, that season of my life has passed, but I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind revisiting it again someday—it was such a calm, happy time.
Today, I find myself in a season that is hard to define. Perhaps it is best described as a season of wisdom—a time to both pursue greater knowledge—through reading, travel, conversation, experience—and a time to share what I have learned with the next generation. I am enjoying this season, although I would prefer to be somewhere like the Caribbean where I do not feel the strong current of time passing by. And I wonder what season is next and what it will hold for me.