Life moves in seasons.
What are lessons if not learning of the seasonality of life? Sometimes they are welcome, like the change from a brutal winter to blossoming spring. I've certainly experienced that in life--the eagerness to cast off something old for the promise of something brighter and new. It's frustrating when life doesn't move fast enough--like that brutal winter lingering well past Christmas. When times are hard, it's difficult to remember that it's just a season. It's finite.
But sometimes we are unwilling to move to the next season: Saying farewell to a beautiful, colorful autumn, knowing that it means yielding to colder, shorter days ahead. Despite the inevitability, we hang on to fall's rustic warmth, thinking we can will it, live longer.
One of the biggest disservices we can pay ourselves is to refuse to identify the seasons in our lives and cling to something irrationally. Perhaps we don't want to move on because we are so happy. Perhaps we are too afraid of what's coming instead. Maybe we just feel the need to stay, worried about what it means to let go and move on.
It's funny to write this and think how it applies to my life now, on the edge of a new season, feeling bittersweet about this small space in between. I think, though, most often, I've seen this seasonality in my relationships. People move in and out of our lives for all sorts of reasons, sometimes reasons we'll never know. I have dear friends who have been in my life for a decade. Other friends come and go and come and go, and I imagine I'll have them weaving in and out of the fabric of my life for the next forever. Sometimes a relationship is fleeting. Sometimes it feels very purposeful, almost like an angel sent to be near me during a certain struggle or period of life.
Whether it be an actual season, a life season, a relationship, or just a feeling, I think the biggest part of this lesson for me is to acknowledge what I cannot control and force. "Don't force things to happen, don't prevent things from happening," my mom once said to me, certainly not suggesting we float through life aimlessly, rather that there is beauty and importance in surrendering to the inevitabilities of life. We will be much happier if we can move through the seasons gracefully--with fond farewells to what is passing and a clear-headed excitement for what lies ahead.