Embracing Life's Current Season

Embracing Life's Current Season

Written by Belinda van Vuuren - 01/02/2021

This is me, in China


As I was walking along the river close to our apartment this afternoon, I realized that our three weeks of cold winter weather have gone into early spring.  Grannies were outside tending to their grandchildren, many people were out walking their dogs, enjoying the weather.  And I saw my favourite old man who lives in our building sitting in the afternoon sun, all alone in his wheelchair, and every now and then he would take a nap or read on his cell phone.  Maybe he was hoping for a message from his son, his grandchild, maybe his wife.  Most of the time he is on his own, wheeled outside by his daughter.  And I wonder about his life.  Where did he grow up?  Has he had a good life?  Is there anything he regrets?

Unfortunately I would probably never know what he has seen, what he has experienced.  We don’t speak the same language.  But I do know that when I greet him, his eyes light up.  I know that he and I are happy to see each other, and that we communicate that to each other in some way.

He makes me think of my dad, my mom.  I think of them as being frail these days, lost, lonely without the other.  My mom has been in hospital for the last 40 days and may not have any visitors.  My dad is therefore all on his own, for the first time in more than 60 years.  He does not cope well.  He writes her letters that she cannot read, cries when I speak to him on the phone.  I send her voice notes that she cannot listen to. We phone and leave messages at the hospital, which she probably does not get.

And I think of how our lives change from one season to another.  Sometimes it happens in a second, sometimes it gradually waltzes to the next, and sometimes we don’t get the chance to experience all the beautiful seasons planned for us at all.  My mom and dad are both experiencing their winter, I realize that.  And yes, it makes my heart ache.  They have both given their best to us as their children, always.  And I trust that my mom knows as she is lying in her hospital bed, that I love her, and that I miss her.

Being a mom is definitely one of the best seasons ever, which is why I think that must be our summer season.  You are in full bloom, the most beautiful you will ever be.  You are the world to your child, and your child is your world.  This is the time to treasure every moment you share with your little one.  The precious time you spend with your baby, toddler, child, teenager, young adult and eventually as a fully grown person is such a privilege, and goes by so fast.

I’m definitely in autumn.  I have loved my personal spring and summer.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey so far, and I intend embracing everything still coming my way.  I do hope that there is still a lot of adventures for me out there, and that I will go into my winter knowing that I have loved completely, and that I have been loved unconditionally.

We are all in one season or another.  Whatever yours, make the best of it.  You never know how long it will last.

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