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“Autumn is a season of great beauty, but it is also a season of decline. The days grow shorter and summer’s abundance decays toward winter’s death. Faced with this inevitable winter, what does nature do? She scatters the seeds that will bring new life in the spring, scatters them with amazing abandon.

In the autumnal events of my own life, I’m rarely mindful of the fact that seeds are being planted. Instead I fixate on what I’m losing – on the decay of meaning, the decline of a relationship, the slow death of a vocation. If I were to look more deeply, I might see the myriad of possibilities that are being planted to bear fruit in some season to come.

[…]

In a culture that prefers the simplicity of either/or thinking to the complexity of paradox, we find it hard to hold opposites together. We want the glories of spring and summer without the demands of autumn and winter, gain without loss, light without darkness – and we end up making Faustian bargains that fail to sustain our lives.

[…]

Autumn constantly reminds me that my daily dyings are necessary precursors to new life. If I try to “make” a life that defies the diminishments of autumn, the life I end up with will be artificial and colorless. But when I yield to the endless, interplay of living and dying, the life I am given will – like autumn – be real and colorful, fruitful and whole.”

Parker Palmer

Photo: mendhak


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