We went to Salt Lake last week. While there we took multiple drives up the canyon to enjoy the changing seasons (something you don’t really get in California, land of eternal summer). It was so amazing we stopped to take pictures to remember the beauty and joy:
All those changing leaves and cooler temperatures had me wanting to allow a change in myself, spiritually and creatively. I read a story this summer about one of my favorite artists Corita Kent. If you don’t know of her, here’s the Corita Kent 411:
Corita Kent was a nun in LA for over 30 years, she then moved to Boston to make art. One of the biggest changes of that move was the seasons. She now had an apartment which had a large window facing a maple tree out front. She would sit at the window and observed the changing tree throughout the seasons.
An interviewer came to visit Corita and asked her what she’d been up to. “Well… watching that maple tree grow outside,” she said. “I’ve never had time to watch a tree before.”
I moved to this place in October and the tree was in full leaf then. I watched it lose its leaves. I watched it covered with snow. Then these little green flowers came out and it didn’t look like a maple tree at all. Finally the leaves were recognizable as maple leaves and that in a way is very much how I feel about my life. It seems a great new stage for me – whether it will ever be recognizable by anyone else I don’t know, but I feel that great new things are happening very quietly inside of me. And I know these things have a way, like the maple tree, of finally bursting out in some form.
For Corita, the maple tree represented her creativity. In wintertime she said, “the tree looks dead, but we know it is beginning a very deep creative process, out of which will come spring and summer.”
We each have seasons of our own in our work, our spirituality, and our inspirations. Our responsibility is to know which season it is, and act accordingly. We listened to an episode of the Maxwell Institute podcast on the drive home on the Certainty of Sin. The guest Peter Enns is an Evangelical Christian, he discussed how doubt is a crucial element of faith. Just like Winter is crucial to Spring, or Summer is crucial to Fall, we all have to experience moments of doubt in order to strengthen our faith.
I’m currently in a winter. Not necessarily doubting, but scared of the ways I’m not doing enough, or becoming who I should become quick enough. Today, I’ve decided that instead of fearing this time, I need to allow this deadness or stillness to naturally bring about a very deep spiritual and creative change to stir up the first buds of spring. This is my time for reading, studying, and allowing ideas to brew in my mind to bring about a spectacular change.
Finishing up, let’s all go reread one of my favorite chapters in theBible which has a lot of seasonal imagery, Isaiah 55:
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.