Spring is coming
Just a few days ago I was reading the obituary and I saw that an old acquaintance of mine had died at the age of 82. Even though I hadn’t seen in him in some thirty years I was struck at how old he looked in the picture that was in the paper. My memory of him was that of a younger man with dark hair and so much still in his youth. So, when I saw the picture and that he had died, I was saddened and some what shocked to see his picture. It brought over me nostalgia, and I sunk in my easy chair and looked out my front living room window.
There outside my window is a Japanese maple tree that was barren of leaves. My mind went into reverse and I began to recall the early months of autumn when the wind blowing through the trees began to shake down the leaves.
Its funny how falling leaves, as they float through the air and nestle onto the ground, remind me of people whose lives have come to end; each leaf representing a life. But every year, I do the same thing and stop to watch the leaves, and think the same thought.
I realize it is now the dead of winter, and when I say dead I mean dead, but as I was looking out my window at my leafless tree, it reminded of my friend’s passing, I stopped to consider life and my life, and what it means.
The speed at which life passes is shocking. Thirty years ago I was talking with a vibrant man. Now it almost seems surreal to think that he grew old and died. In my mind there remains the image of this same man who now, in the newspaper, I could scarcely recognize.
It doesn’t seem the same for me, people dying around me, but I’m still here. I feel like I am not aging. I’m the same person. But the truth is after working out last week I strained a ligament in my knee when I only used maybe 20 lbs of weight. In my younger years, I used to lift in the hundreds of lbs, but 20 lbs strained my ligament.
The reality is we are all struck with this incurable disease called aging, but the good news is that we, like the cycles of winter spring summer fall, are just cycling through.
All of creation is like a song that in its design plays like a revelation. What in the winter seems like a sadness, and a melancholy tone because it is the end of the cycle and intones like death, is followed by spring which plays the tune of happiness, because new life springs forth, and so on through the entire yearly cycle.
So even in death which claims us all there is joy, because we know that the next phase of the cycle is coming and in the physical creation (which is a metaphor of the spiritual) of summer fall winter spring, the spring follows the winter. Life follows death. This life ends in death but spring is coming. Praise God for the physical creation that speaks to us if we will only open our ears and listen. Spring is coming.
The Kingdom of Heaven is within –Ken