The following is a guest post by Joan Suisted – my lovely grandma. Grandma is a poet, makes an amazing mixture of lemonade and juice, and is my biggest fan. Seriously. I love her heaps.
When I was a child seasons didn’t really make too much difference to my life. I remember lovely hot summer days, frosty mornings when I cycled to school, the hot stove in the winter, calves and flowers in spring and fruit in the autumn but they didn’t seem to affect me as much then, apart from the chilblains that came on my hands and feet each year.
I notice them more now.
Since we moved into town we have become removed from the farming seasons, but as I have walked regularly I have had time to appreciate the gardens, the trees which are a feature of our town, and it has reminded me of the different seasons of life. I am a summer person, and enjoy the beauty and colour of the flowers, the light and shade and the contrast between heat and refreshing coolness. As I write winter has just begun. I have enjoyed the colour of the falling autumn leaves, and appreciate the symmetry of the bare branches of the trees, but I have to look for beauty. Even the view from my favourite corner looking across to distant farm land seems unexciting and the earth seems to be resting and waiting.
I suspect I am entering the winter of life, although I do not want to admit it. I don’t enjoy my increasing physical limitations, but I know the branches of my faith and the roots of my relationship with God are still strong, and have withstood the storms of life which we all encounter. I know there is still life there and spring will bring blossoms, although not as lavishly as in years gone by. I am thankful for the good things. I can still think, read, pray, communicate via the computer even though it all takes longer. It also reminds me I need to work on beauty, resisting the temptation to complain, criticise, and compare the youth of today unfavourably with my own youth. I need to remember they face temptations we never dreamt of, and also have opportunities that are far greater than we had. I need to pray for them, to take an interest in them and encourage them whenever possible.
Most of all, I need to cultivate a thankful spirit, remembering that God is unchanging in all the seasons of my life, and that His grace will continue to be sufficient as it always has been.
Winter is never the end. Spring always comes, lifting our spirits and energizing us again. And even in winter there are many blessings to count and to remind us of God’s unfailing love and care.