LOGIMOS ~ The Seasons
Each season bears it's own characteristics, mood, you could even say, climate. In fact, the actual climate or atmosphere of each season presents so distinct a flavor or feel, that we've come to use the terms 'climate' and 'atmosphere' as descriptive of the general tone of various circumstances . . . we might want to check the 'climate' of a certain gathering or ask about the 'atmosphere' of a particular meeting, etc. As each season gives way to the next, we can feel an internal sense of vigor or melancholy, we might feel adventurous or reflective.
Time is at once our great antagonist and our great comfort
But it seems to me that whatever the season and whatever the general feel or mood it brings, each season evokes nostalgia. When you are out on the first real spring day, even if you don't consciously ruminate on any particular event, you kind of emotionally feel the enthusiasms of adventures from past springs - every year when you look out your window and see winter's first snowfall, again, you may not think of some specific past winter incident, but you recognize a familiar inner sense of things associated with past winters. Time, I think, is at once our great antagonist and our great comfort.
This is because of our dual nature - we are living souls inhabiting a material body . . . we can see in a mirror or a photograph who we are, but not see who we are. I mean, someone who knows me can look at my physical form and recognize that it's me and not Richard Nixon or Cary Grant, it is me - but someone who doesn't know me cannot come to know me, as the person that I am, just by looking at my material body. There is a 'me' who walks around and picks things up and puts them down, etc, and there is a 'me' who has some purpose to walk around picking things up and putting them down. It's this duel nature, I believe, that makes time so compelling a feature of our reality to experience.
Our general apprehension of the world we live in informs us that material deteriorates and that energy continues on . . . an apple comes to be, ripens, and then rots; the physical item that was the apple came and went, it's gone - but before it became an apple it was some manner of energy that prompted and defined that apple from before it's pre-seed stage and is now fertilizing other material, etc. Energy changes form and alters consequences - material items begin and end. I suppose just about all the religions man has concocted advance that while man's body will die and decompose, man's soul continues on in some fashion.
Our inner person is, currently, slave to all the conditions of the material reality we find ourselves in
So, in a very real sense, we are eternal beings existing in a temporal, temporary, reality. Our inner person is, currently, slave to all the conditions of the material reality we find ourselves in. And so, as our soul comes to know and love other souls, we lose them. As we define our soul/self, our inner us, through relationships, the physical world we inhabit steals those relationships from us. I don't think this is mere supposition or religious contrivance - I think we can observe evidence of this truth.
Consider how we perceive time; it doesn't strike us as completely normal, it seems to us like there is almost something amiss, like time doesn't work as it seems it reasonably should if the material reality were all there is and we are merely cognizant beasts who come and go. Look at how we remember . . . somethings from years and years ago we register has having experienced but can't quite get our memory's hands on - somethings that happened years and years ago we so vividly recall that it's more like we can nearly re-experience them when we think about them. You can watch a home movie and recognize the place, the occasion, the clothes you are wearing, things that were said, etc, but you only recognize those things from observing the film, you have no real recall of any of it - but with other bits of the past a simple smell or shade of green can instantly transport you back to so vivid a memory it feels more, again, like you are re-experiencing rather than merely remembering.
I believe in the returning and disappearing seasons we can see God supplying us with an insight, an aid and comfort, to the time reality our material lives are ordered by. God, the eternal Spirit not bound by time, provides for souls who are bound by the nature and conditions of time, a natural portrayal of the consequences time. As summer moves through autumn and into winter, it is a new winter, another year not yet experienced - but it happens over and over, winter is always winter and always after summer has changed into autumn, year after year after year . . . it's always new but always familiar.
As we feel that nostalgic sense of adventure with each new spring, as we feel that familiar melancholy with each new autumn, the seasons are teaching us, our eternal souls, how to live in time. I said earlier that I think time is at once our great antagonist and our great comfort. It is because we exist in time, it is because our experience is temporal, it is because we live in a material reality that we die. Time takes our loved ones away from us . . . it is because I live in time that my little sister died so long ago, it's because I live in time that my dog died last year, it's because I live in time that I will one day bury my mother. If I were born into a world without time, if I lived in a reality that was an ever present now, a perpetual instant, if one moment wasn't overcome by the next which is now gone and a whole other moment is currently replacing the one I'm in just now, if there was no time - I would not die.
Time kills all those we love. But, how do we bear it, how do we continue when one we love is taken from us? Time. Time is at once our great antagonist and our great comfort. The knowledge that God is love, that He is Himself a relationship of Spirit, that His plan and purpose is perfect unity, this is what informs our understanding and enables us to be at peace with the hurt time inflicts on us - but is in the advance of time that we can rest from our heartache, it is time that takes our loved ones from us and it is time that provides us relief from the hurt of losing them.
Our general apprehension of the world we live in informs us that material deteriorates and that energy continues on . . . one season gives way to another, season after season after season - flowers die and flowers blossom again and again and again. The physical diminishes and ends - the energy, the soul, the spirit, matures and continues on. God reveals Himself in His creation, He gave us the seasons to draw us to Himself - it is as we unite to Him in genuine relationship that we mature and continue on.
Jon - no longer with me but always with me. My partner.
"Warm affections, without knowledge, can rise no higher than superstition; and that knowledge which does not influence the heart and affection, will only make a hypocrite"
~ John Newton
1. "The Seasons"
2. "Why Do We Write?"