Another birthday is on the horizon for me. As I look back over the years, I marvel at how our lives parallel the events of nature. We are all like one big garden. Just as seasons bring changes to the flowers and trees, so do we change with the passage of time. Each stage has a wonderful but different purpose. In nature, spring is the beginning of life, summer is for growth and promise, fall is the glorious time when we reap the harvest, winter is the time for resting. A person’s life cycle is an exact mirror of this process.

In nature, seeds are planted in the spring. The sapling or stem breaks through the ground and is nurtured and cared for while it starts to grow. Everything is new and interesting. There are no limits to what may happen to this new plant. Is it not the same for the human race? In the spring time of our lives, we are born and for the first few years we are totally, dependent on others for nurturing our minds, bodies and souls. We absorb all these nutrients and we flourish.

Then we find we are in our summer and just like the flower, we start to grow stronger and become more independent. We are establishing deeper roots enabling us to stand on our own, to survive the storms that may come our way and to thrive in the sunlight of our lives.

Autumn arrives with all its amazing colours. Everything is at its peak. Like nature, we harvest what we have sown be it in matters concerning family, careers, or whatever. It is a marvelous time.

And then winter appears. It may be cold and at times bleak but it has a calming, wonderful sense about it. It is time to slow down a little, let others help you when you need it. A time to reflect and to be grateful for all your many blessings.

I have enjoyed the spring, summer and fall periods of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing. Over the years, what trials and hard times I have encountered have only made me stronger and more appreciative of all the good things and the wonderful people who have surrounded me throughout my life. I am grateful for the mistakes I have made because I have learned from them. These failings provided me with great opportunities to change and improve things.

And now for me, my winter is here. I am going to do everything in my power to make it a long and very mild one. I will fight off the bad weather as best I can. I will take care of myself and I will live each day to the fullest. I look at other seniors and I see in their eyes their love, sadness, joy, wisdom and beauty. They have stood the test of time and they continue to live with purpose, dignity and grace. Hopefully, my winter will stretch out for some time. There is still lots of life in the old girl. I’m not ready to go to seed just yet.