seasonal comforts and the natural rhythms of life

by Oak Hill Studio

Time to stack the wood!

A few posts back, I briefly stated that the rhythms of the seasons are a comfort to me.   As far back as I can remember, I have looked forward to the change of the seasons.  While growing up on a farm in IL, some things that induced that feeling of comfort during the time of year when school was starting were: the whirring of the cicadas in the yard trees, cooler nights, Summer Bounty Ratatouille (made with our home grown veggies), early evening walks along the creek, picking up apples with Grandma in the orchard behind her house, spending an hour or two after school with Grandma, often doing some household or yard task usually followed by a snack at the kitchen table. Later on, as late summer turned to fall, the scent of drying corn leaves and husks filled the air; the opportunity to take rides on the combine with Grandpa and Dad, colder crisper nights, and making apple cider with my grandparent’s senior church group–all of these things I cherished and looked forward to without even realizing it!

Most of these happy memories centered around home and not so much my hectic schedule away from home at school or while participating in one of the several activities that kept me busy throughout the school year.  Perhaps those comforts filled my heart and mind with a sense of peace just because they were part of the more natural rhythm of life— things that brought a deep sense of meaning and purpose that all the other busyness lacked.  They included the people I loved and nature and simple pleasures.

I am at a transitional place in life with decisions to make on what comes next for me.  For the last 17 years, I have devoted the bulk of my time to caring for and teaching my children.  It was (and is) the most wonderful, purposeful job (or rather privilege) I have encountered up to this point in my life, and quite possibly ever will.  My job is not finished, but since they are getting older and will become increasingly independent, my mind has naturally turned to the question of what next?

One thing I want to be especially careful of is not rushing headlong into the well worn paths (ruts?) of a fast paced, shallow existence that leaves people feeling dried up and running on empty, void of purpose and meaning.

And so, as I pray about and ponder my future, one thing is becoming clear.  There must be time to live slowly–to find a pace that keeps in step with the natural rhythm of the seasons!  Exactly what form this will take, I still don’t know.  But, I do know, there is much that I don’t want to miss!