When you go out to greet a warm spring day, what exactly do you notice? The sun, surely — especially now, when we had a such a long and terrible winter. Maybe the daisies and the daffodils popping up amid the freshly-spread mulch, their friendly faces a warm welcome. Or perhaps even the song of the bluebird as it sings good-bye as you go along your way. You can see it now in your mind’s eyes, can’t you? The grass is greener than you have seen it in months and Mother Nature blooms in her youth once more.
In the summer, it’s almost the same. There are less flowers now and the sun’s strength has grown just as Mother Nature has matured. In July, you go to the lake and admire the calm waves as they gently kiss the beach like a tender lover and return again and again to it’s swift embrace. The blue water rivals the shine of the sapphire and the question enters your mind. Will you go in? Without hesitation, your feet leave the ground and you jump. You leap into the arms of the water and the coolness envelops you as the heat of the day dissipates with the snaking tendrils of water that drip off your face and arms.
The autumn smells of pumpkins waiting to be carved, hot apple cider anticipating the moment when your lips press to the mug and take the first sip, and bonfires playing in the moonlight, the flames crackling and laughing as the smoke tickles the stars. The leaves perform their dance, costumed in bright red and vivid oranges, their rustling seeming to remind us “It’s fall! It’s fall!” Although Mother Nature’s health seems to be waning, autumn ushers in a new school year and the air is punctuated with sounds of giggles as children roll in piles of leaves and cheering laughter as the crowd supports the high school football team.
And when December comes around, cloaked in a snowy, white mantle, it is easy to forget that Mother Nature is dying. While the snowflakes collect on the pine trees and we drape them in colorful ornaments, we scarcely notice that the rest of the greenery is gone and has shriveled up into black, gnarled skeletons. We sing of a Newborn King and we light candles as we hug our loved ones; presents are exchanged as if that could possibly cushion the blow of a dying world…not that we notice anyway. We are blinded by the red and green lights, the glint of the moonlight on an icy shroud, by the fire in our hearths that keep us warm. Our winter days are spent keeping our hearts warm in a cold world.
You’ve just read a description of a day in each of the four seasons. Now tell me, with all of those sensory details, with all of the mentions of nature and the elements, with all those frilly images painted in your head, can you name the one feature that I overlooked? Have you guessed it?
The wind. The spring breeze that ruffles your hair like a mother does to her mischievous son. The gust of summer that wicks away the sweat on your brow and is wing-man to the water as it assists in it’s seduction of the shore. The autumn draft that comes and stirs it’s fingers in the embers of the fire and tangles them in the strands of your hair. The winter’s bite within the storm that sucks the air from your lungs and punches you in the face with an icy blast. How could you possibly forget the wind?
The wind is here one moment and gone the next, a vagabond that can never leave the winding road it travels on. It may revisit a place that it has passed through, but it never stays. In the same way, I too am always changing. I am never the same person I was the day before; although I may find similarities between my current self and the self that I was a few years ago, I will never be the same. Whenever I blink, I find pieces of myself slipping away. I reach out to hold myself together and I find new parts of me in my hands, scraps of myself that I have cast away before and that I now use to patch the holes. I am constantly evolving into a brand new masterpiece, weaving the threads of my own tapestry into a design that I myself have never seen, but only dreamed. My God has created me for a purpose, for an idea, for an action that will define me. This life and the experiences I have are always changing the person that I am.
Who am I? I have no idea. I’m different than who I will be when I finish writing this post. I’m much different than when I started writing this post. I looked ahead and saw what I could write. When I am finished, I will look back and see that I have accomplished it. Life has a way of changing you. I can see the girl that I was, the woman that I am, and the lady that I will become. I will reach the highest potential that I have for fear that I will waste the ingenuity that I have been given. I will take advantage of every opportunity that I snag along the way. There are sacrifices that must be made sometimes but everything is made pure by fire; such sacrifices are a gift. Like attacking wood with sandpaper, I am being molded for something greater. I will fulfill the purpose that my God has for me and I will be content when I have done so. E. M. Foster said “What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?”
This is my daily life: striving to become everything that I could. It’s absolutely terrifying but I have no doubt of the satisfaction of the outcome. And if this is life, I can’t wait to live.