I spend my mornings reading, reflecting, and planning at a local coffee shop. As a creature of habit, I tend to sit in the same booth to think, brood, create, and calm. It has been a morning routine spanning many years.
Outside of the window is a tree. When I started going to the coffee shop, the tree was newly-planted. It was a spindly 6 feet tall requiring stabilizing stakes to hold it upright.
Through the seasons I have watched God paint it a fall umbra. The wind would whip it to and fro in the spring. An overcoat of snow covered its branches in winter. The summer doldrums brought a stillness to its limbs as emerald leaves hung limp.
Every season it would grow. Over time, it edged upward in solitude and outward until it has more than doubled its sapling height. It spring leaves would burst from bud, and the fall winds would let the leaves settle to earth.
As I watch the tree, I measure my own life, not life of the cottonwood. In it I see seasons pass. Each change of seasons reminds me of the passage of time. Children born, married, grandchildren are part of the seasons. With the good comes the passing of time. The hair becomes snowy. The joints stiffen. The hearing dims. It’s all part of the changing of the human leaves.
The tree reflects our lives. We all pass through the seasons of life, and we all change in those seasons. Some create warmth while others portray starkness. The seasons come and go, without our wishes. All alter through the seasons.
The tree grew through the seasons. Inside of its bark is the-the archeology of its life in the hidden rings. We have one advantage over the tree. Our growth is not determined by DNA but by action and choice. We choose the path of growth or allow the entropy of inaction to settle into our souls.
The seasons change. We change. Are you growing through your seasons as the tree does?