gary's blog pictureA large, male deer stands at the corner of the woods.  His antlers are beginning to lose their velvet appearance as he readies for rutting season.  Adjacent to the deck, where I am standing, a Rose of Sharon bush is being courted by a monarch butterfly making preparation for her pilgrimage to Mexico.  This trip has been called the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. It is a one way trip, but her offspring will return in July to the same bush. What makes this trip so fascinating is the young butterfly will return to the same bushes without the assistance of navigational experience or information.  Equally impressive is the hummingbird who is making preparation to travel to Mexico over open water.  Like his friend the butterfly he will make the trip without Global Positioning Systems.  I will look forward to his/her return in early summer.  Not to be out done, the Dogwood tree in the front yard is ‘a blaze of red’ and you can almost hear the voice “I am the first to leave, but wait until Spring and I will really have something special to show you.”   God has done it again, it’s Autumn (Fall).

cabin on lake

Fall Retreat

As I observe the Law of Nature all around me, I cannot help to begin the process of applying the concept to human beings.  In each of the cases discussed in the aforementioned paragraph, it appears the animal life is “gearing up” in preparation for an event or life itself.   I have to ask the question  “how do I gear up for the change of season?”  Surely if the Law of Nature applies to “all of God’s creation” it applies to me.  …….and how do I equate the seasons of the year to the seasons of life?  I can only use a metaphor for my life where I am in the autumn of life approaching winter and there will be no spring.  Sounds almost morbid but ……that’s the Law of Nature.

My answer is purely experiential based upon professional and personal observations.  First, in the autumn of life I must remain active in a community albeit a community of friends, a community based upon a fellowship of ‘believers’ or a family community.    It is important not to become a recluse or isolationist but be active.  Secondly, I need a mentor, a best ‘bud’, a person or someone with whom I can talk and discuss issues.  Someone who is positive, realizing laughter is medicine for the soul. Thirdly, in this journey of life I must take care of my mind and my body.  The most important muscle in your body is the brain.  It needs regular, active workouts done in moderation.  The same is true of the physical body, good nutrition and physical activity in moderation.

The butterfly, the hummingbird and the tree come pre-programmed for the seasons of life by the Creator.  The Creator has given me ‘free choice’ and a moral compass to guide me through life’s challenges and seasons.  It is an exciting time of the year and of life.



Retired in 2008 after 40+ years in education/psychology as researcher, teacher, administrator and college professor.
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