FOCUS: The Changing of Seasons 2021

As I write this column, we are in the autumn month of September. We are still dealing with the COVID virus, and our county has been hard hit. Many programs and celebrations have been cancelled or put on hold until the numbers of COVID cases are reduced. School has started and several teachers and children have been absent due to the virus. We need to keep our families in prayer as this virus and the variant has hit Upshur County and the whole state of WV. We faced this problem last year and there are more cases now than last fall.

Autumn begins September 22. Autumn is a busy time for families as they begin to put away yard furniture, decorate with fall items and finish canning their garden supplies. The feel of fall is in the air. The hours in the days are shorter and the leaves will soon be turning to their brilliant colors. Autumn is a great time to take walks as the temperature is not as hot, the leaves are turning, and walking is great for exercise. Many folks have been staying home due to the pandemic and need exercise before the weather turns cold.

I am always amazed at the change of the seasons. As I get older, the seasons seem to be more precious, and I try to enjoy each season and the surprises each change brings. I must say that I am not so fond of the winter months when the trees are bare, the roads are slick, the temperature gets really cold, and the grass is covered with many inches of snow. I do, however, love to see the first big snow that covers the tree limbs and sparkles in the sun. Many folks travel south for the winter months, and I am beginning to understand why they want to enjoy the warmth, especially as they get older. Cold weather brings on the arthritis which can be bothersome at times. Let us hope that this fall and beginning of winter finds the Covid virus leaving. We have been shut in for many months and families need to be together during the upcoming holidays.

God has created a unique plan for the changing of seasons. The movement into each season is a good way to look at the seasons of our lives. The autumn season is a time for the earth to slow down. Autumn is a beautiful time with the colors of the changing trees as they get ready for their winter rest. The leaves are alive with color and give us such beauty. As we grow older, I see how much we should appreciate all the beauty that the seasons bring.

The autumn of one’s life can be a challenge to do many of the things you have wanted and planned to do but never seemed to have the time. The senior years are a time of reflection on the past and a time to slow down. However, the senior years can be a time to try something new, to work on special projects at home and in the community. Seniors can finally plan a trip or two which gives them something to look forward to. I like to believe that life can be a variety of colors, just like the leaves that are showcased in the fall of the year. One is never too old to find ways to be involved with family, friends and community. One is never too old to try something new. This is the hope of the autumn season in our lives.

Winter is a time for the earth to rest. The trees seem to sleep until the first signs of spring, when one sees tiny leaves begin to form on the branches. Some say that winter is related to the ending of life. Others see the wonder of the winter snows and the early evenings as a time to rest, reflect and to get ready for a new rebirth. Winter is a season for faith in what is to come.

Spring is a rebirth of all the beauty of God’s seasons. Spring is a time to renew one’s spirit, to organize, to plant flowers, to plan a garden, to spend time getting outdoors and to just enjoy the newness of God’s work of nature. If one believes that Winter is a time of departure, then, Spring is a time for a new birth. God gets it right each season and all we have to do is go with the flow. Every season is different, exciting, challenging and full of hope and faith to move from one season to another.  Seasons of the year give us a variety of wonderful experiences. The season of our lives offer us many experiences of growth which makes us who we are.  Springtime is a time to remember how much God loves His creation and how much He loves us.

We are now at the end of summer. We have experienced many different challenges. We can now look forward to new challenges with a hope for many things to change and make our experiences a path forward with faith in the season to come. Even with the challenges of the summer months, we can remember the wonderful look and feel of summer. We can remember some good times with our families, and we can be thankful that we still have family in good health. We can remember how the summer breeze feels, how the sun has warmed us and made our garden grow and remember how beautiful the flowers have been. If one looks back at this summer, there is much to be thankful for. Summer is a time of growth and a time to share in the joy of each day.

As I reflect on the changing of the seasons of each year, each season has special opportunities for us to grow, to create, to reflect and to be excited about the creation that God has given us. Maybe His plan for the seasons is to keep us involved in different ways, give us hope and faith in all things new and enrich us in all of the seasons of our lives. As we reflect on the seasons of our lives with faith in the future, God will give us many challenges and adventures to prepare us for the fact that there is a continuation of the seasons of God’s world and a continuation of life eternal.

I leave you with this thought for the day.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.

September — Lord fill our hearts with the splendor of the seasons. Our souls are tired, it’s been a hard year. Autumn reminds us that change can be beautiful. Thank you for the blessings ahead.


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