Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Seasons may change but God never does: Part 1

This year, more than any other, I've fallen in love with seasons. For all the positive things about my homeland, Texas isn't really renowned for its seasonal variety, so all this *seasons stuff* is very new to me.

Spring in South Korea is stunningly gorgeous. As April arrives, so do the cherry blossoms. Love them. It's like pink snow in the trees. After the cherry blossoms drift from the trees in cascades of floral delight, the azaleas bloom, lighting up the streets around Jeonju with bright pink and magenta joy. After the azaleas, the roses. THE ROSES. Gardens of them, just begging to be admired. I tell you, spring is lovely.

Summer has long been my favorite season, with its beach vacations and sweltering temps, trips to the river and never-ending sunshine (and freckles! and sunburns...). I'll take 100 degrees (~38*C) and be happy, so long as I can jump in the water. I love some summa-time.

Autumn stunned me this year, as I've mentioned. The trees turned to flame with color like I'd never experienced. I couldn't help myself; I smiled every time I turned the corner and found another view of gold and orange and red and brown.

And finally: Winter, here we are again, nearing its last days. Thanksgiving dawned bright and white with the first fresh blanket of snow. This past weekend in Seoul, it snowed quite a bit. Snow perfectly delights me, much to my surprise. When I moved to this country with it's famed "seasons," I didn't think I would like this last one at all. Snow won me over. And the cold? Well, I don't hate it as much as I used to. Back in December, I actually uttered the phrase "Nah, it's not that cold tonight. I'll walk home." -- Y'ALL. It was 48 degrees out. Am I still from Texas??? 'Not that cold??' Am I ...*gasp*... acclimating!? It helps that I bought a new, beautiful, maroon parka this winter. So fluffy and warm! Dressing in relation to the weather makes a huge difference. Huge.

What I love most about seasons is that as one season draws to a close, a new one is ushered in. As the winter cold or summer heat take their toll, the spring or autumn brings relief and transformation in due time. Often before I'm quite finished enjoying and admiring one (or maybe when the last has taken long enough), the next season is ready to go with new sights and smells for me to admire and enjoy.

For all the positive things about my homeland, Texas isn't really renowned for its seasonal variety, so, as I mentioned, summer has been my favorite season my whole life. Now that I live in a place with seasons, though, the other three are catching up.

All this has me thinking.

A lot.

Lately I have been considering the value of different seasons of life, in all their variety, which directly correlates with my new appreciation for calendar seasons. 

Seasons of plenty, seasons of boredom. Seasons of singleness. Seasons of adventure followed by seasons of frustration. Seasons of planting, seasons of harvest. Seasons of Sabbath rest. Seasons that are much more hectic than I think I can handle. Life's constantly changing, naturally, and though seasons may change, God never does.

I've definitely been through a tough growing season lately... maybe even several growing seasons back-to-back. It's not necessarily easy, but it sure is delightful to recognize! Growing pains aren't usually fun, you understand. The end result (or work in progress) is worth it.

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different..." - C.S. Lewis 

To be continued...

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