Four Seasons

Much has been written about the four seasons of our lives and of nature. Hence, even the calendar is based upon the stars and seasons: Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice, Vernal Equinox & Summer Solstice. I list these as they come at this time, and since summer is officially over (at least in the northern hemisphere) we enter the season of Autumn or Fall. Our lives correlate to nature’s seasons rather well.

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Actually, all life begins in the spring season when we are conceived, born and we begin our early years of development. I realize that some creatures begin their lives in different seasons, but I am basing my dialog on human beings. At this stage of the cycle of life we are filled with wonderment and often joy. I know, there are so many children whose lives appear to be anything but joyful. However, I have seen children in slums who find joy in the most dire circumstances. They inspire me.

Then comes Summer which welcomes the developing years of one’s life. This season is filled with activity, learning, and blessings. The later part of Summer involves adolescence and the challenges and excitement which accompany this season of life. Funny, how so many of us reflect upon this season most fondly as we grow older. Based on experience, please enjoy, but be careful as risks are often taken without any thought of danger…I am a living example!

Autumn comes next as these are the middle-aged years of one’s life. I now have two grandchildren which “knock my socks off” when I get to spend time with them. This is a joy-filled, and a reflective season, and is usually accompanied by many memories of raising our children. I believe it to be my most favored season …especially because I relate to nature so closely and the change of this season is so dramatic.

Winter follows and we experience the cleansing of new fallen snow and arctic blasts of air which cleanse the mind and spirit. It is also when we realize that this is the last season and we best make the most of it. Family and friends are most important during this time. Far too often we succumb to physical and mental illnesses which cause alarm among all who care. However, we were never promised an eternal life while enveloped in these bodies of flesh and bones.

This photograph was taken a few days ago and reflects nature’s changing personality during the season from Summer to Fall. I captured this image with my cell phone camera and admit it is nothing spectacular. Yet, I like it because it reveals an authentic representation of our reality, and of our seasons. So, whatever season of life you find yourself in, I encourage you to stop and enjoy it. As is so often stated, “Time flies”. There are no do-overs in life, only restarts!

Morning Walk

Took a walk with the pup this morning and this is what we saw. Well, maybe only I saw this panorama as Carson’s eyes are usually focused where his nose is headed to…tree trunks, sign posts, bushes, unexplainable things which shouldn’t be sniffed, etc. As Carson looks ahead or down most of the time, I tend to look up a lot. Moments like this are worth the extra muscle effort it takes to tilt the head back with eyes wide open! Here’s hoping you have a terrific day filled with reflection of all that is good.

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Reflections in Blue

5-26-15 024 Have you ever noticed how vividly light reflects off of tinted glass, and even clear-coat painted metallic surfaces? Like watching a movie, I gazed at the clouds which strolled by the side windows of my Jeep. They skirted by without even a whisper…only a moving reminder that they existed…for only a short while before fading out of sight. In between the clouds the sun shone in all her brilliance. It was she who illuminated the clouds in the first place. And, it was she who made the reflection possible. No light, no radiance, no reflection.

Remember the line in the fairy tale, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”. As I recall, the answer wasn’t too favorable for the wicked queen so she cast a spell on Snow White who was considered the fairest.

The queen had a problem which is common among many. She was so self-absorbed that she radiated her disdain for others (in this case Snow White). Her reflection revealed a narcissistic image and the mirror couldn’t lie. How often do we see this dynamic played out in our everyday world? People pretending to be one thing, but eventually they reveal through words and actions what’s really inside them. Rather than radiating light, darkness fills the void. In today’s world of ‘make believe’ where most anything printed or filmed can be (and usually is) manipulated to what the creator wants the subject to look like, we are presented a poor reflection of the truth. Sorry to be sardonic with my opinion, but this is what I often see. This is also a generalization of our culture and not a condemnation of any particular person, although I can think of a few who may fit this description.

This got me to thinking about radiance and reflections in general. More specifically, I looked in the mirror and asked myself what I radiate, if anything. Do I have a light within me which radiates outwardly or is there too much darkness that obscures the light? Can others see what I don’t? Or, is there anything to be seen? Is my self-image based on reality or wanna be? As with my vehicle’s color; since it is blue, it better reflect blue or something is wrong.

I realize I have flaws, more than I want others to know about. And, I can hide things as well as anyone, except from the One who knows me better than I know myself. With this admission I can also state that it is my supreme desire to radiate light and reflect that which I know to be true. As I stumble in my daily attempts to live out this goal, I need all of the grace I can acquire. So, before you throw a rock at me for this post, I adjure you to look in the mirror, too. If you don’t like what you see, you can throw the rock at the glass or put it down and be honest with yourself. Then, extend yourself some grace before asking for help to change. The clouds will eventually part and the light will shine once again. There are plenty of souls who have cracked mirrors, and continue to radiate beautiful light. I want to be one of them.

 

 

Puddles

11-5-14 019 Early morning, several weeks ago, I took a walk through one of my favorite parks. There is an asphalt trail which winds its way over a thirty mile stretch of NE Kansas terrain. It traverses a pond in this park which has a loop around it. The Autumn leaves were a brilliant orange in the awakening east horizon. It rained a bit the night before and there were puddles of water helter-skelter. When I came upon this particular stretch of asphalt and beheld the radiance of the reflected maple trees, I stopped instantly. I gazed at what I saw in the water. A reflection to be sure, but much more. I saw a season coming to an end. I witnessed a transformation. I felt as if I were walking on holy ground.

As usual, I had my Canon with me and I took the shot. This is what I saw…what I stared at for several minutes. The reflection was transforming. Water reflecting light. Light illuminating color. Black framing the subject without any particular order. And, a slight breeze which the camera did not capture, but which was a part of this scene. Only when the sun rose higher and the angle of light lifted from the water puddle did I move on. I felt different somehow for witnessing this brief dynamic of nature unfold before me. Winter was clawing at the door of Fall like our Westie claws at a mole hole-hoping to find his prize instantly only to be disappointed that it takes time for success to occur. I then drove to work hoping this colorful season would last a bit longer than expected. Winter can be so cold and drab. Strive to resist the exterior veneer of gloom…it has a way of creeping into one’s soul. Don’t let it in. Be positive, and reach out to another in need.

Autumn’s First Sunrise

9-23-14 014As I left home this morning I rode into one of the most stunning sunrises I have ever witnessed. I couldn’t help myself so I stopped at a couple of locations as I headed east and took multiple photos. Each photo is untouched and the colors were as rich and vibrant then as now. 9-23-14 015I hesitate to share too many images, but am compelled to give you a half-dozen just so the intensity of this sunrise captures you as it did me.9-23-14 017Having a stationary object included in a sky photograph usually accents both the sky and the object, as did this utility pole. However, only one stayed still, and it sure wasn’t the clouds!9-23-14 022I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of the photographer. I like reflections from glass, water or from any reflective material.9-23-14 028Within minutes the shapes and colors of God’s palette changed. I never knew ambers so rich as these. And the shadows so vivid while the reflections were so brilliant. Ablaze was the eastern sky this morning. And just think, this is eastern Kansas and not some exotic locale. What a privilege to have witnessed this unfolding of morning on September 23rd, the Autumnal Equinox. Perhaps this Fall will be special. It certainly started out that way for me…and now for you!9-23-14 032