Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Seasons Of Life

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
-Last Words of Blackfoot Warrior Crowfoot

The images in this quote speak to me of mindfulness and paying attention. When I was a child catching fireflies was one of the things children did. As a young boy I actually played outside, especially on summer days and nights. At that time of my life a summer day seemed eternal. Admittedly, the lack of air conditioning in my parent’s home and the fact that my family only had one black and white television with two channels, motivated me to go outside and be creative with my time. My wife and I were on vacation this past Thanksgiving. We decided to have lunch at Huber’s Restaurant, a place usually so crowded that you normally cannot get in. We took some back roads to get there when I suddenly saw a field full of buffalo. I am talking about real buffalo like you see in movies about the frontier days. It wasn’t cold enough to see their breath but unusual enough to get lost in a moment of wonder. Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter, I usually notice the differences in the light and shadows of the day. I have lived most of my life in the same places but they never look the same. As I travel up and down the same road to work each day I see the new growth and colors of spring, the green fullness of summer bounty, the multi-colored tapestry of fall colors, and the starkness of winter. Each season has its own beauty. Our lives are like the seasons. Each stage of life corresponds with a season of nature. Some of you are in the springtime of your lives. Some are experiencing the fullness of summer by being at the peak of your powers. Many, like me, are in the autumn of our lives when we know we have more summers behind us than in front of us. Eventually, if you are lucky enough to have a long life, you will experience the winter of life when the cycle is complete. I think Crowfoot is encouraging us to enjoy the moments and the seasons of our lives for life is made up of such moments. Maybe a deeper question than “What is life?” might be “What is your life”?

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