First day of school today. There were a few tears shed – from both Frederick and me. This weekend we planted two trees in our yard.
It’s always the transition from one place to another, from season to season, from one stage of life to the next that proves the most difficult. To move a tree from a planter into the ground is necessary. There’s the time and space between when it’s been transplanted and when it’s roots actually start to grow that it’s most vulnerable.
In the in-between, in the space between, and the time between I pray for an embracing and not kicking against transition for all its awkwardness, uncertainty, and the little bit of heartbreak as one chapter closes and another begins.
The story of our lives is full of chapters of change and it’s the blank pages between that teach us patience, trust, and faith that what’s coming will be different, but good.
Yesterday, I took down the bunting plastered with faces of my sister. She moved from the U.S. to the U.K. to go to school one week ago on Sunday, and I figured it was time to take down her going-away-party decorations. Check out her blog for funny observations of UK culture and lessons she learns on her latest adventure!
The day that she left, I shed a few tears after leaving the airport and then went home and finished reading a novel I began at the beginning of summer.
After finishing the novel, I began to think about the natural season change from summer to fall as well as all the external changes going on in life.
T. S. Eliot writes in the Four Quartets,
What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
One of the hardest things in life is beginning and finishing a season well. It’s so easy to be consumed with what’s coming ahead that we forget to live fully in the present. I think one of the worst things in the world is not embracing the time, place, and people of your season.
Over the past 10 years I’ve made a handful of significant moves. After or during each move, people inevitably ask if I miss the place I left. I’ve come to realize that up until the day I actually leave a place, I love every moment and bit of it. As Eliot so eloquently puts it, “what we call the beginning is often the end.” I think it’s because this is SO true that I often feel bittersweet in every sense of the word when one season comes to an end and another one begins.
Proverbs 10:5 says,
know the importance of the season you’re in
and a wise person you will be.”
Big life events often mark big season changes, but even the small season changes are important to be aware of because time can slip through our fingers without us even being aware of what’s happened or why we’re in the place we find ourselves.
As autumn truly begins these next few weeks, I can’t wait to think and pray about this next season and its importance. Here’s to beginnings and endings and everything in between!