A happier state of mind

"Retired picnic at Otford Lookout" by Alex Proimos, Sydney, Australia  CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Retired picnic at Otford Lookout” by Alex Proimos, Sydney, Australia
CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”George Santayana

Here in the northern hemisphere, we are enjoying the colors of the foliage and the cooling weather.  Meanwhile, our neighbors south of the equator are enjoying the end of winter and the return of warmth.  Those who are fortunate enough to live near the equator will still probably sense seasonal changes, though not as closely tied to the changing weather.  Almost everyone I know feels happy to enjoy the changing seasons as they paint variety into our landscape.

Having lived nearly six decades now, I believe Santayana’s words are true not only of the yearly calendar, but also the evolving seasons of life.  It’s easy, of course, to be “hopelessly in love with spring,” that time of new beginnings and hope for bright days to come.  In a youth-obsessed culture, that tendency is even more exaggerated.  But just as I love fall the best of all seasons of the year, I find that the autumn of life has similar charms.  I’m happy to be in the stage of life I’m in now, despite its often bittersweet flavor.

If you’re in the spring or summer of life, enjoy it!  Remind yourself often that you will never be in exactly this same place again.  I think one reason I have felt no regret in growing older is that I so totally relished the beauty of the years that have passed.  Despite a life that has arguably had its full share of sorrows, I have almost always felt blessed just to be alive.  I hope you can say the same.

For those of us in the fall or winter of life, may we take joy in every moment and treasure the storehouse of memories that we have gathered so far, living always in faith and anticipation of more blessings to come.

 

One year ago today:

Autumn asks

14 Comments

  1. Anon E. Moose

    It is great to read a quote from Santayana that is not about “repeating history”.
    How do you like this from General Douglas MacArthur:
    You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt;
    as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear;
    as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

    Silly question, I know. (If I know you.)

    Did I tell you what an obvious hero (as is evidenced by statues, memorial naming of streets, parks, etc.) MacArthur is in South Korea?

    • I do like that quote. And no, I didn’t realize MacArthur was a hero in South Korea. It reminds me of Sydney’s blog post about Arthur Percival.

  2. Sheila

    Good early morning, Julia. We are leaving MYR shortly and this airport setting makes me think of you! 😍 I love the “retired picnic” photo. I recently bought a pair of those retro chairs. Now I need a Thermos. I often refer to others as, “They were young.” or “They were our age.” Hey, I had fun getting here and I’ve been in this season for awhile. Well, we’re Houston bound! 🙏😍

    • Sheila, I hope you have great fun in Texas. Those retro chairs were everywhere while I was growing up, but I hardly see them anymore. I remember they would get quite frayed and we would still sit in them. I remember Thermos bottles too, especially that they once were fairly fragile. Or so I was told, because I was never allowed to drink from one — they were reserved for the grown-ups coffee on car trips!

  3. Good morning, Julia! So true! (“With autumn comes wisdom?”) 🙂
    One thing I’ve looked forward to in winter has been throwing my skates or cross-country skis in the car, and carrying them about all season, so that if I happened to have a chance to get out over my lunch time, I was prepared to enjoy the season. It made a huge difference on days when I otherwise might not have seen the sun!

    • Wow Susan, to this southern girl that sounds like quite a fantasy…”Hey, let’s stop and do a little bit of skiing.” 😀 From what little experience I had with skiing, I think that would be great exercise as well as a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors. It was fun just reading about it. In my world it sounds as exotic as it used to sound to others when we would talk of going to the beach on Christmas Eve in Hawaii.

  4. raynard

    Julia we have 2 friends through another online ministry who live in over there. One came over this way about 3 years ago to visit another friend down in NC.( when you get a moment USA Today(online version last month) had a nice write up and pictures of the latest cruise ships that” make the old Love Boat” look like the S.S Minnow on Gillian’s Island . lol be blessed

    • Raynard are these new cruise ships crazy big or what? The Love Boat really DOES look like the Minnow in comparison. I have friends who get seasick and don’t want to cruise. I always tell them, you hardly even know you’re on a ship most of the time, they are so HUGE. But these new ones are bigger than any that I have ever seen. I’ll have to look up that article. I would like to go on one with a “sea walk” (where the floor is glass extending over the water) although I guess there wouldn’t be much to see in the water, it’s just the idea of it.

  5. Amen and amen. I am enjoying this autumn season as well, both in nature and in body. The barrenness around me blends well with the colors beneath and behind me in a beautiful, wondrous way. Praise be to God.

    • Tony, aren’t we lucky to have lived long enough to appreciate living this long? I thank God for every day, though I usually have to ask for divine help in getting up the willpower to get out of bed these increasingly cold and dark mornings! 😀

  6. Thank you so much, Julia for reminding me to appreciate all the seasons of my life. I pray you and your “boys” are doing well. Have a beautiful day!! Love and Light. Cherie

    • Thank you Cherie, I am keeping you and Ron in prayer and hoping you are well too. ❤ ❤ ❤

  7. Quite true, Julia. Life comes with sorrow and joy. Yet the bitterness of sorrow only accentuates the sweetness of joy.
    -Alan

    • “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” What a beautiful promise!

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