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The power of self-illumination

With the seasons change comes deep reflection on the fragility of my mortality. I find the reds and ochers of the trees comforting as the scent of burning leaves drifts through the air. This is a time for harvest, for thought and nostalgia to come together in our hearts. We reap the rewards of the year and begin to slow our pace to better appreciate all that we have earned. Holidays show their bright and chipper colors in the windows of quaint houses lining streets littered with the fallen reminders that life begets death. There is a deep sense of beauty this time of year.

I have always thought that seasons are so much like people. Spring comes to us with new life, brand new opportunities for growth and learning. We are young, naive and the world is so big and bright. Around every corner we find the tiny shoots of flowers peeking out to find the sun and trees begin to shake off the cold. Lovers walk hand in hand, taking in the innocence of new life.

When we take the time to realize everything has a beginning we find hope in starting over after the storm has washed away the pain. The ice melts and our lives begin again, fresh and new and so ever promising.

Summer comes in with a flourish. The brightly hued sunflowers bloom, trees are full with green and birds sing their sweet song of life. Tulips pop and bees buzz as they hunt for every drop of nectar.  Squirrels chirp as they chase each other in their funny little dances around every tree. Boats set sail upon Lake Michigan and people gather at the beaches to play sand volleyball and picnic with sandwiches and soda. It is truly a beautiful time of year full of happy memories and life.

To see the beauty, even when we suffer, is to live. The summer of our lives brings us new chances to build strong foundations that we can share with the world around us. We must strive to live every day in the cheerful sunshine and not fall victim to the shadows of our sadness.

Fall comes to us with no warning, chilling the air and turning the leaves from bright lively green to so many beautiful shades of red and yellow and orange. The leaves fall to the ground and give us new games to play like jumping in piles and letting them fly. Apples hang plump and ready to be picked and baked into delicious pies. Pumpkins with toothy grins light up the night, reminding us that even ghastly ghoulish creatures hold a flicker of hope within.

When we begin to suffer we must remember that all is not lost. Even when times start to change from the happiest of moments to dreary and somber days we must keep hope that everything will come full circle. We must gather the harvest of our emotions into us and learn to make something great from every experience. When we lose love we must remember that we never lose the ability to love. Our capacity to overcome all things never diminishes, it merely adapts to meet our needs.

Lastly, winter brings it's icy touch to the world. Blanketing the earth in glittering white, snow falls and the world is chilled. Frozen in time like  a still frame photograph, trees are bare and flowers hide from the cold. Children bundle up to play and romp, sledding down hills and building snowmen and snow angels on every front yard. We groan and grumble as we dig our cars from the fluffy stuff and salt our walks to prevents ourselves from falling on icy driveways. The elegance of this season can be overwhelming when we stop to take in the beauty of it all.

When our worlds seem impervious to the forward momentum we so desire it is best not to fight against it. Take the time to stop and take in all the beauty around you, throw a snowball and catch a snowflake on your tongue. Instead of dreading this time of your life, slow down and feel the comforting warmth of a fire and sip a steaming cup of cocoa. When you can't seem to get out of this rut, take the moment to sit calmly, focus your mind and organize your heart. Read a good book, play a word puzzle game in the daily paper or revisit your youth and build a snowman. It is never so gloomy when you find the fire in you to melt the ice in your heart.

When we take the time to stop and smell the roses, we find ourselves. Take every breath as a chance to breath in your own personal power to be and make the most of every day given. When we slow down and reflect we learn so much about ourselves, helping us to make more informed decisions that help us to grow and evolve as individuals. Don't be so distracted by the world that you forget to taste the sun.