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Friday, October 14, 2011

The Borders of the Seasons by Terry & Tracy Moore

I wonder what life would be life if we didn't try so hard to live within rigid borders.  As I sit at our dining room table and watch the color-filled, cascading leaves raining down, I become aware of how the change of seasons flow one into another.  It’s not like there is a line of demarcation between them, one day it’s spring than the next summer, then one day it’s summer and the next fall.  And then one day its fall and the next winter and then the seamless cycle begins again as winter flows into spring.  We as humans seem to perceive borders between things as necessary and real.  We create or try to anyway, borders around us to keep us safe and protected, when what they actually often do is only keep us separate one from another and from the rest of God’s glorious and magnificent Creation.  We are created to be relational with our Creator, with each other and with all manner of created things. 

It feels funny to me, now, to think of how we even now ‘border’ things within manmade time frames, instead of within the flowing cycles of the moon, as our ancestors did.  Like the seasons listed above, someone decided that there are 4 specific dates on the calendar when one season changes into another, like the recent September 21st, which here in Michigan is often celebrated by organizations with an “end of summer” festival.  There is a much older way to honor this change – they are called the spring and fall equinox and the summer and winter solstices and they do not fall on the same calendar date each year, rather they are based on the movement of the moon through her cycles.

I do understand why we feel the need to create borders, whether borders of time, that allow our days to have some structure, or borders between locations, like countries, so that we feel our place and space belong to us alone.  Seems to me that our ideal places, like the Garden of Eden and Heaven, are places without any borders. 

One of our favorite poems is called Footprints and it depicts a scene along the seashore where there are footprints left in the sand.  Sometimes there are two sets and sometimes there is only one and the author asks God why and God replies that when we see only one, it is because God is carrying us.  As I picture this scene now, I am aware of the ever changing line between the seashore and the water.  This border changes on a regular basis as the tide ebbs and flows and so, the footprints are impermanent, being washed away each time the tide comes in.  If we are to remember that God is always with us, we need to have faith that even though we may not see any footprints at all, our Creator is with us, sometimes walking alongside us, sometimes carrying us, always within us, where there are no borders created by our physical form to keep us separate.

1 comment:

  1. I like this post, particularly the musing about seasons.

    The boarders of seasons are somewhat arbitrary -- defined differently by astronomers and meteorologists. I think we may define divisions out of our human desire to know what to expect each day.

    For example, in weather we talk about "normal" temperatures for a given day; but "normal" comes from averaging temperatures over many years. So the "normal" high temp for Oct 14 in Washington, DC might be 72, but one year might be 85 and the next might be 59. Over the long-haul you still average out to 72 but you rarely actually see that temperature.

    There's an awful lot of variation in life despite our efforts to "normalize". We like black and white divisions, but life defies neat divisions. A billion hues of high definition colors all mixed together to create real life. Try putting all that into neat bins...