As I look out my window, I see a skiff of snow covering the ground and leafless trees all around. It’s winter here in Colorado. And it got me thinking about the seasons in our lives.

The first seasons to come to mind are sequential and developmental. Dependant infant. Exploring child. Experimenting teenager. Conquering young adult. Family-focused adults. Legacy-building older adults. Retired and (hopefully) wise seniors.

Each stage of life is full of challenges and opportunities. As much as we long for the next stage, we must focus on the present long enough to milk everything out of today while we can. No more “once the kids are all in school, then I’ll …” excuses. Love the season I’m in.

Yet, seasons can also be cyclical. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter again. These seasons reflect periods of dormancy, preparation, new growth, bountiful fruit, slowing down, shedding leaves, cutting back, and quietly gathering the strength to do it again. (I imagine we’ll be discussing each of these in the months ahead as the seasons outside my window change.)

As I look out the window at the bare maple tree in my front yard, I can’t wait to see it with leaves again. Yet, I know that the changing seasons are necessary for healthy growth. In the spring and summer, trees focus on the top growth of leaves and new branches. But the dormant season is the best time to plant new trees because it’s a good time to focus on root development. Dormant or dry seasons are also the best times to prune trees because one can see the basic structure, sap doesn’t leak as much, and insects aren’t around to infect the resulting wounds.

As I long to be like a tree in 2012, I’ve been wondering what season I’m in. On one hand, I’m in the busy family-raising stage with three kids (two of them teens!) at home. On the other hand, I think I might be in the middle of winter. I cut back on things a few months ago (like shedding leaves and pruning) and am focusing on life’s priorities (like deep roots) and gaining strength while looking forward to new growth and opportunities.

What about you? What stage of life are you in? What cyclical season? Are you making the most of your season or spending time wishing you were  elsewhere?

Like A Tree – Seasons
Tagged on: