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the seasons of my soul

Years ago, a wise Spirit-filled friend asked me: What is the season of your soul? The startling beauty of this question filled my meditations for some weeks after because I could easily relate to weather metaphors. Winters of cold doubt and darkness, times of refreshing Rain, Tornados where swirling events touch down and blow my world apart. Dust season. Cloudy season. Busy season, Vacation season. Hiking, Planting, Fire, Holiday, Hurricane, Light, Laughter, Resting, Love Seasons.

That day my answer was Storm Season. It was a turbulent time with pressure systems from all over my life – work, family, church -- the trinity of responsibility I held.

My soul knew churning wind, bold lightening, crashing thunder. And rain, endless rain. While I love the energy of Earth’s storms, the insistent pounding of my internal storm season was wearing me out with its bold hits to my being.

Looking back I sometimes wonder just how I got through it, but I did. I weathered it. “To weather” -- what a truthful verb. It implies that I must just live it – whatever “it” is, letting every sorrow and every pain or every joy move through me. The most damaging storms are ones where a weather system gets stuck. So I work daily to allow the energy of my situation – good or bad – to flow through me. [1]

A decade later, after other calmer seasons, a new storm erupted. A much worse storm. My beloved passed away and I learned that grief is a real physical pain. The hole in my heart hurt with stabs of throbbing stinging grief. This was no mental anguish, it was fiber of nerve and muscle in my corporal body. It took a talented professional therapist and numerous close friends, including my wonderful brother, to help me walk through that storm.

Weathered things are never quite the same. The wearing of a storm bends and frays, but I choose to see this as patina. And like the tiny cuts in silver that soften it from a raw shine to a velvet glow or the chemical reaction of copper that gives it soft green-blue hues, the patina after the storms has given me an awareness that I hope comes with new compassion, patience, understanding.

And today…

I began writing this piece months ago, before this corona virus pandemic began its determined march around our globe. Long before this frightening virus with slippery new properties began confounding the medical and economic worlds as we have known them. Before ... will we even remember our lives before?

Then a recent text from a young friend expressed hope that I was okay in this “strange season.” Another friend asked “what are you learning about yourself in these strange times?” prompting me to consider, what is the season of my soul today?

In this enforced time of quietude I find Earth and my soul mirroring each other. It’s Spring here in the Southern United States where a certain damp chill settles lightly on the skin each morning. Fresh breezes play. The smell of earth is rich. I take time to watch how quickly the iris open. They were my mama’s, transplanted decades ago. Like my garden, my soul is ready for new planting, too, even as I continue to work out the rocks – things like attachment, impatience, anger, sadness.

And I listen in my soul for Spirit guidance to identify with those in need and discover how to care for those who are in a season of struggle right now. To embrace this moment for what it can teach me. To learn how I can love across time and miles to convey hope.

All photos from iPhone camera 2016-2019 by the author

[1] For more on the idea of unblocking energy, I highly recommend Michael A. Singer’s beautiful book, The Untethered Soul: the journey beyond yourself, especially chapter five

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