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the intelligence of seasons

Birdsong and tulips remind me that earth is still spinning, even when I feel stuck. The ebb and flow of tides remind me that bodies are still moving in relationship to other bodies. Even the idling of neighbors is full of subtle rhythms and orbits and assurance.

I set out at about the same time each morning. Several strides from my deck and I’m in the street and I’m on my way. Among the first things I see are my neighbor’s white truck, the stump from the old birch, the trunk of the tall spruce, a sandbox, a trampoline, a treehouse, a stop sign. At the end of the street I take a right and climb the incline over the bridge. Then left into the neighborhood where I wend my way to the woods.

The trail in the woods leads to the river. I run under the bridge and alongside the river, past the comforting oak. And back towards home, where my neighbor’s truck, by then, is idling in his driveway. The rhythm of my morning intersects just so with the rhythm of his.

If my stride is half a step slower and I’m a few minutes later, like I was this morning, my neighbor will be already on his way. Instead of idling in the driveway I’ll see the white truck pull away from the stop sign at the end of our street while I’m approaching that last stretch of my morning run.

And so, each morning, I measure my time according to where I am in relation to my neighbor, according to the confluence of our separate routines.

So it is with the whole world. Our clocks and calendars keep time according to calculations based on celestial routines. We know how to answer the question “When?” because of the space between bodies and because of their movements and their dynamic relationship to one another.

One twirl, a day. And each day divvied into moments. One spin, a year. And each year stratified by seasons. And every lifetime comes down to this: We either hide our face from the sun and attempt to run away from these moments, or we wake up to the bodies around us and make an effort to glean perspective from the intelligence of seasons.

So, as we pay attention to the season in which we currently live: May we have the courage to grieve what’s lost from seasons past, and to glean the wisdom we need to trust in the steadiness of change.


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