Seasons: Day 3

Seasons: Day 3

He is like a tree planted in water which yields its fruit in season…

Psalm 1:3

If you ask young children to name the seasons, some might answer, “Christmas, Easter, July 4th and Halloween.” Following that train of thought, the sign of each new season would be the bursting forth of appropriate merchandise on the shelves of local retailers. Ah, sad, but true…

But there is another way to mark the seasons. It is not found on any day timer, nor can it be purchased on the app store; yet it is absolutely accurate. In order to track it, you must close your day timer and turn off your phone. This reckoning of the seasonal rhythms isn’t a helpful tool for people who believe that time was created for them. It is for those who are willing to be still and discover who God is.

For your observation and education—and maybe for the fun of the kids in your life-—here it is:

Prevernal (pre-spring): Deciduous tree buds begin to swell. Some types of migrating birds fly from winter to summer habitats.

Vernal (spring): Tree buds burst into leaves. Birds establish territories and begin mating and nesting.

Estival (high summer): Trees in full leaf. Birds hatch and raise offspring.

Serotinal (late summer): Deciduous leaves begin to change color. Young birds reach maturity and join other adult birds preparing for autumn migration. The traditional harvest season begins.

Autumnal (autumn): Tree leaves in full color then turn brown and fall to the ground. Birds migrate back to wintering areas.

Hibernal (winter): Deciduous trees are bare and fallen leaves begin to decay. Migrating birds settle in winter habitats.

The spiritual lesson flowing through all of is the lesson of preparation. While it is true that every season has unique characteristics, each is also a part of an unstoppable process. Stasis is death. No season can stand alone; each depends on what has gone before and each is a preparation for what will follow.

So it is with us. God designs our lives so that today well-lived is both a blessing and an opportunity. Only He knows the future; only He has the wisdom to prepare us for it.

Nancy Shirah

Seasons: Day 4

Seasons: Day 4

Seasons: Day 2

Seasons: Day 2