As the seasons are changing from autumn to winter, my thoughts go to the seasons in our lives. As I grow older, the differences in the stages are more apparent to me. Recently, on a bicycle ride in a park near my home, I saw children playing and parents watching them as I once watched my daughter years ago. I saw an old couple walking slowly; she was recovering from something, maybe a stroke; he was holding her gently; though weathered, their bond was as beautiful to behold as that of the parents and children, maybe even more so to me at this time in my life. I am exercising more as it is time for me to work harder at avoiding a stroke. As I cycled by, the old man smiled and gave me a thumbs up gesture; I did the same to him. We bonded. We are in different stages now, but I hope to get to his age and to be as gracious as he is then.
My home is filled with photos from different times in my life, such as pictures of my wife, our daughter growing up, travel pictures, church photos, all of which remind me how fortunate I have been and am. The gift of life is certainly something to celebrate as is the gift of love, and feelings of spiritual and material well-being.
Our decisions as a society do not allow everyone to be as fortunate as I am; religion reminds me that I am responsible to do something to rectify our inequality. Some call this the season of giving. As we prepare for the annual celebrations associated with this time of year, I am reminded of the words of the poet, Rod Mckuen, who wrote, “Love is a season and holidays like signposts mark the time.”
Whatever stage you are in, whatever special day you find meaningful this time of year, Chanukah, Christmas, the Winter Solstice, Kwanza, let us fill this time, this season, with love; feel it, and give some concrete expression of it to others including those not in your family, then everyone will have something to celebrate; we’ll all feel bonded, and the human family will develop into a more just and peaceful stage.