Coming Together Through The Seasons
Everything has seasons. The earth has seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter. Life has seasons, including childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Singleness, being married, young children, older children, and empty nest. They’re all seasons. Some of us pass through many of them, others just a few.
I live in a northern US climate where we have 4 distinct seasons, so we get to enjoy the hope of spring, the heat of summer, the crisp fall harvest, and a winter that’s just a little too long. I’ve also experienced many of the life seasons I mentioned. I’m currently in the season of small children.
This spring I finally escaped my season of depression. As summer approached, my husband and I built and planted a garden. As we have worked to rebuild our relationship and my emotional stability after I became unglued, we have worked side by side for a common goal. Our garden this summer has been therapeutic for our souls. It sparks conversation, we’re rallying against our garden nemesis, and we’re planning for the future.
As we look to the fall and the winter months ahead we are preparing to tap maples on my family’s land and make our own maple syrup. We spent last weekend repairing the outdoor wood stove my grandfather used 20 years ago and chopping wood. Side by side.
For the first time in a long time I can feel my family drawing closer, coming together. I have talked about some of this before, but I think it bears repeating because it is so heavy on my heart right now. Here are a few things that are working for us to come together, through the changing of seasons.
- Do stuff together. Find something that you can do, either as a couple or as a family, and do it together. For us right now, it’s the garden. The kids love to pick carrots and pull weeds. Maybe you can start a family game night or go on walks each evening before bed. Look on Craigslist for some inexpensive bikes and take up riding. Be together, and really be present.
- Make a bucket list. Some of us have a list of things we’d like to do before we die: climb a mountain, travel, my sister said she wanted to roll a car (unfortunately she managed to cross that one off, fortunately no one was irreparably injured). What about the restaurant down the street you’ve been meaning to try? Or run a 5k? Write a short story? Make a bucket list with your family of the achievable things that you can do together. Then hang it somewhere where your whole family can see it and start crossing things off.
- Talk about the future. I feel like for so long my husband and I had our nose to the grindstone. We both felt overwhelmed with the season of life we were in, so much so that we couldn’t be there for each otherbecause we each had our own problems. We struggled side by side, but not together. Now we’re talking about the future. We’re planning our garden for next spring, we’re prepping for maple syruping. But besides those short term things, we’re talking again about where we want to be. We’re thinking long-term, which is hopeful when the current season feels overwhelming. So talk about where you’d like to be, what job you want some day, where you’d like to live. Plan that stuff out, because when you realize there’s life beyond this moment, this moment doesn’t have the power to break you anymore.
Above all, coming together happens in the experience. When you experience life together, your hearts come together. Friendships are often forged in the fire, common experiences are what irrevocably bind people together. Go out, and experience life with your family.
What season has been the most challenging for you? Which has brought you joy? Can you share an experience that has brought your family closer?
Visit Gerogetown MN … thanks for guest posting!
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