How Things Grow

The air felt brisk for a moment mid-morning as I shuffled four little ones out the back door and past two yellow dogs eager to say hello.

It is, indeed, Fall. Even in Texas.

The deciduous trees are dropping their leaves — and many others are showing hints of peach and orange and yellow, emerging from the sea of green in the forest behind our yard.

I put up a Fall wreath in that one awkward spot on the wall that’s had me stumped — and I realized that it is the very thing this wall has been waiting for. I keep looking at it with a deep satisfaction as if I’ve solved a puzzle.

Seasons, to me, are a gift from a God who knows that we humans tend to get bored easily. Just when we’re too hot and mosquito-bitten, Fall arrives. Just when we’re tired of sleet and grey, Spring blooms. This beautiful rhythm — when observed and noticed and enjoyed — brings such a needed anticipation and contentment in life. As wise (and silly) ole’ Pooh muses: “Although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”

I have been thinking of this very idea on this month of my 34th birthday — this idea of seasons.

For as I was chatting with a dear girlfriend yesterday who has known me since I worked at an ad agency in the big city, she mentioned how different my lifestyle is now (in the country, more babies, stay at home mom, homeschooling, gardening, cooking, oh my!) It is a season, is it not?

Those very rhythms that drive our wardrobes and holidays and celebrations do the same in our souls as we blossom and change as the years go by. Like the tree outside my window, I grow deeper roots and longer branches — but every year, there is new growth — and also, habits and choices and ideas that I let fall to the ground like leaves in October.

I am new and yet I am the same.

As Fall decorations hang on my walls and adorn my dining room table, other indications of this sweet season of life fill my home. Teddy bears and blankies, Lego blocks and snack-time crumbs pepper the rug at my feet.

A sun-bleached playset sits in the grass next to the patio. A pile of toddler clothes are waiting to be folded in the dryer. These things are less ornate than that wreath of fake orange flowers, but they are still vivid reminders of a fleeting season that grandmothers in grocery stores remind me goes all too fast.

And so this year I am trying to enjoy the season I’m in.

To not wish away pumpkin pie for Christmas morning — to not long for Spring flowers until I’ve soaked up the winter’s day. For as the leaves fall outside my window at this very moment, I am reminded that this time, too, shall pass on to the next.

This very idea should not be met with sadness, but rather, with a deeper awareness of the unique beauty and joy of this very time of life — when there are golden leaves and scattered toys and beautiful children at my feet.

I stumbled upon this little book the other day on our bookshelf. The inside cover told me that my grandparents had given me this book when I was around 4 years old, which added new meaning to the title: How Things Grow.

Here’s the answer: they grow in seasons.

Some are challenging and some are a breeze, some feel long and some go all too fast — but they all bring their own joys and challenges and new growth. And they are all needed to make us who we are meant to be.

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