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All my life I’ve been an autumn person. I have so many memories of autumn in the forest from when I was growing up: roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire, hay rides through apple orchards, costume parties and parades (when I was 10 I won first place in Marion, Ohio’s Halloween Costume contest as Little Bo Peep and got to lead the parade!), the smell of leaves…

But while digging in my cave over the last four years I’ve realized there’s more to my allurement to autumn than just those externals. Despite all the wonderful memories, autumn has always left me feeling melancholy and sad. Trouble is, I still haven’t dug up the answer to why that is.

But thanks to all the excavating that has me thinking outside the box, I seem to be having a love affair with the seasons at the moment. Maybe that’s because my “watch word” for 2018 turned out to be “change.” And what changes with more regularity than the seasons (even if you only have two — winter and road construction!)?

In their book “The Circle of Life:The Heart’s Journey Through the Seasons” Joyce Rupp and Macrina Weiderkehr have an exercise for internal reflections about the four seasons and how they affect/shape us. I thought I’d tackle them! You’re more than welcome to join in if you’re interested. If you’re a journaler there ought to be lots of food for thought in these questions… Will I share my answers? Maybe…

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Winter

Remember your own winter times when all seemed dead and unavailable to life, when you wanted to give up hope and stop believing… Is there any place in your life that current feels like winter?

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Spring
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Think of spring and how it has so much energy that it pushes new life through the strong soil, like a baby pushing through the birth canal of a mother… Remember how newness has come to your life through love relationships, spiritual growth, renewed hope, and health and other experience… What is now waiting to be birthed in you?
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Summer
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Think of summer and how fields and gardens are fruitful and abundant… Remember your summertime, the successes of your life, the times of vast growth… Recall the moments of joy and enthusiasm… Of peace and contentment… What is seeming most like summer in your life right now?
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Autumn

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Think of autumn in your life. What has been given? What has been taken? when have you had times of greater darkness and less illumination? Are you needing to yield and give away, to let go, in some part of your life?

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Questions for internal reflection

Which season is most predominant in my life right now?

What are my strongest thoughts and feelings about each season?

Which season has taught me the most in regards to my relationship with God or Nature?

Give an example of something you’ve learned.

Which season is most appealing to me and why?

Which season is least appealing to me and why?

What is most challenging for me when I look at the four seasons of my spiritual/internal life?

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Picture Sources:
Seasonal shift — Song of a Nest
Leaves —  Jewish Folksongs – Jewish Songs of the Diaspora
Trees — WallpaperPulse