The Four Seasons (Revisited)

Sometimes I write things that stick with me years later. This essay was formulated right before I went to Barcelona, Spain in September 2009. For you new subscribers, you may be reading it for the first time. For others, it may seem familiar. Either way it’s message rings as true for me today as it did when I first put pen to paper.
Enjoy, my dear friends!
Time, and what you choose to do with it, is all there truly is. ~ Christine Louise Hohlbaum

If you were to divide your life into four seasons, you would find experiences that match each of them: Spring-like hope at the arrival of a new baby or a move to a new place; summertime frolicking with barefoot days and bare bottom nights; autumnal palettes of red, yellow, and orange that splash the landscape with dramatic overtones; and winter hibernation as life’s rhythm crawls with the sun at the seam between Earth and sky.

My guess is we have all experienced moments of grace and moments of grief. The dance between light and dark is what we are here to learn. Life’s cadence ebbs and flows with almost predictable circularity like the blood that courses in our veins.

If I were to live only one more day, I would thank each and every person I have ever met as the guiding forces that brought me to the place I am today. Starting with Spring, I would acknowledge my parents whose loving humanity and occasional missteps taught me acceptance, respect, honor and integrity. I would embrace my sisters, with their unique set of courage and greatness, whom I love beyond measure. Then I would move to my own family, thanking my husband for his steadfast nature and beauty and for granting me two incredible children who fill me with marvel and yes, sometimes, despair.

Moving into summer, I would hug my friends from the beginning of time who stood by me even when life took on edges and shadows too painful to see. We would laugh at ourselves and toast the heavens for the thrill ride that brought us together. As Autumn rounds the corner, I would recognize the mentors in my life: colleagues and bosses; clients and coaches; teachers and leaders. I would acknowledge those people who took the time to apply their own sand paper to my roughest spots so that I might do the same for others, too. And finally, as the Winter of my final day takes hold, I would praise the personal bank account of time that I spent on this Earth with the hope that my legacy would impact people’s lives the way theirs have mine.

Steeped in gratitude, I would remind each person again about how incredibly important he or she is, that everything we do makes a difference, no matter how small we think it might be. Even the unkind people whose malice taught me inner strength and fortitude would land on my list of thank-you’s for they belong to my Winter just as starkness belongs to the leafless trees. Entering the shadow dance, I would twirl to the beat of my borrowed heart and, with a final farewell, slip lovingly back into the fold from whence I came.

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