Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Seasons Change

Published in Strays.

Winter cracks and soon the growth begins again. Weeks pass, roots develop, stems thicken, vines intertwine, flowers blossom, trees bloom. It’s all growth of some kind. But as spring turns into summer and summer into fall, what was once ripe now dries and fades. Limbs crack, some breaking only slightly, some completely, but with a single cold snap all the once-new growth fades into autumn’s inevitable embrace.

We purge in preparation for the winter. We purge for the hope of spring. We take notice of the dead and dying limbs, which are still sucking energy from the whole, still existing only to undermine the living. So we trim the wounded and excavate the inessential. It’s obvious.

One branch is alive. Keep it. Another branch dead. Remove it.

The seasons change, and with them the useful is separated from the useless. But what of the internal wheat and chaff? In a harvest of the soul do we also strip out the excess, the waste, the useless? How? In the mind the excess appears far less obvious. It’s deceptive. There the excess fights back. The decaying challenges, demanding its stay of execution, continuing to withdraw energy for its own benefit. But the dry, faded, sickly remains only persist to hinder future growth. The space must be cleared. Cleared in preparation for our the changing seasons to change once again. Maybe not this season. Or next. But in the spirit’s spring the time will be right to again inhabit this space.

Autumn will subside. Winter will fade. New growth will begin. Weeks will pass. Roots will develop. Stems will thicken. Vines will intertwine. Flowers will blossom and trees will bloom. At the same time, future growth depends on the honesty of today’s purge.