To Everything There is a Season

Annah Elizabeth Leave a Comment

I sit at my desk this morning wearing sweat pants, a long sleeve shirt, and warm, fuzzy footie socks.
Outside my window, colorful leaves rest atop my freshly mowed lawn as a stiff breeze tests the strength of the foliage not yet ready to let go.
I pause thinking and typing and go make myself a mug of Constant Comment, one of my favorite hot teas.
It’s been what Glennon Melton calls a brutifulweek, one filled with beauty and a bit of brutality.
Seven days filled with a great deal of overtime and a new crop of students who are testing the limits…and my patience…
Seven days filled with an internet connection that has continued to be almost non-existent…
Seven days of fretting that you, my loyal readers and magical/cyber friends, will drift away because I haven’t been connected…
Seven days filled with weather that has fluctuated as much as forty degrees overnight…
What bothers me about that hasn’t been the temperature; being someone who loathes doing things twice, I’ve lamented having to change my clothes midday…
I also hated that Mother Nature New York didn’t lay out a nicer welcome mat for two aunts who came from Texas to bury their mother’s remaining ashes next to their father.
On what was this matriarch’s ninetieth birthday, the skies were gray and wept bone-chilling tears that muddied the cemetery’s dirt drives and filled in its worn grooves.
A large group of friends and family gathered for a celebration of life earlier this summer, at Aunt’s favorite spot in a park alongside a river in New Mexico.
Our small group of remaining northern relatives gathered graveside with umbrellas and parkas.
Though I’m not one to dwell in scripture, I couldn’t help but be drawn to these words the pastor read from this Ecclesiastes’ passage:
(text copied from this online site.)
There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,    a time to plant and a time to uproot,    a time to kill and a time to heal,    a time to tear down and a time to build,    a time to weep and a time to laugh,    a time to mourn and a time to dance,    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,    a time to search and a time to give up,    a time to keep and a time to throw away,    a time to tear and a time to mend,    a time to be silent and a time to speak,    a time to love and a time to hate,    a time for war and a time for peace.
When I mentioned to Warren’s cousin how much I loved that message, she told me that the well-loved song by The Byrds, To Everything there is a season; Turn! Turn! Turn! was adapted from that book.
Listen to a live version of the performance below!
There is a time for everything, Journeyer, and as I look back on this tiring and troublesome week, I am reminded of that very reality.
There is a time to remember the joys we’ve forgotten, like these many moments that I failed to include in last week’s post…
…like the feeling that washed over me when I hugged Beauty close after last week’s game, or when I hear her excited chatter about the things she’s learned in her coursework…
…and this child’s drawing on the entrance door of a gas station…

…these little bits of inspiration and nostalgia found in a delightful 1850’s house turned into a modern day gift shop that we stumbled upon on our way home from the game…
Pregnant kitty who greeted us on the porch and then rolled over for a good belly rub

The original staircase leading up to an attic loft
…this fabulous Yelp restaurant Warren and I discovered…
Entrance to Paddy’s restaurant
Mushroom Swiss Burger
…like this fun little banter I had with Fave…
Teasing that his dad was going to buy a real life Tonka truck

There is a time to grumble about nature and a time to be grateful for her abundance and beauty…
View on our drive home from Beauty’s soccer game
A morning commute sunrise

There is a time to think only of ourselves and a time to be thankful for those things that remind us of loved ones…
This Willow Tree made me think of animal loving Beauty
Though I’m no fan of blow-up lawn ornaments, my ‘lil sis is
That gift shop was full of owl items, which reminded me of Fave’s girl Squirrel
This Paddy’s door sign reminded me of friends who are avid and exuberant St. Patrick’s Day enthusiasts
Shredding mozzarella cheese reminded me of Fave, who used to eat it by the chunk
There is a time for rigidity and a time to revise and regroup, to make shifts in our thinking or changes in our surroundings…
As I type, Warren is reshaping the tree in our side yard, the one that gave me a new clarity about my marriage, a different perspective about my husband, just before our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary.

This looming, gorgeous structure is a likely culprit for our recent internet problems because it is in direct line of our satellite’s southern view, but I’m glad that Warren chose to reduce its size rather than tear it down completely.
A backyard tree that once threatened our home, revived after
Warren cut back rather than cut down
There is a time to live and a time to die…
There is a time to be alone and a time to gather with friends…
Couple’s Date night (Hubbies are inside watching football)
There is a time to hold on and a time to let go
As I stood listening to the pastor talk about our loved one’s vitality for life, her passion for people, and how she always made a place at the table for strangers and friends alike, my gaze wandered to the headstone behind our aunt’s burial place.
Afterward, as I gazed upon the marker’s uniqueness, I couldn’t help but marvel at the many contradictions, yet beautiful symbolisms…

When walking through the cemetery to Gavin’s grave, we are always careful to step in-between the plots, a sense that it is disrespectful to tread upon one’s final resting place.
This creative memorial welcomes us with open arms, beckoning us to sit for a spell, to rest our weary or sorrowed souls, or to relax, rejoice, and reminisce about the life’s energy that lives on…
The monument adorning this dwelling is an invitation for us to remember that to everything there is a season…
What about you, Journeyer? What Moment(s) layered your season of joy and filled your happy organ last week?
Until we meet again, yours in healing, hope, and happiness…

    ~AE

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