in spiration

Letting the Seasons Enrich Us
by Marlaina Donato

RoonzNL by pixabay/CanvaPro
RoonzNL by pixabay/CanvaPro

FFor most of us, the first half of our lives is spent tilling the soil of our careers, nourishing family and investing in our dreams. Before we know it, time engraves its signature onto our skin and weaves strands of silver into our hair, and we are presented with the unexpected but inevitable question of what comes next.

The soil of Mother Earth is made fertile only by the debris of seasons. There would be no life without nature’s perpetual act of letting go and the sacred and inevitable growth that comes from decay. As we age, like trees in winter, our energy travels deep down into our roots—our bones. Only then can we stand sovereign, a stable foundation for others. Only when we are full of seasons can we offer the sweetest fruit in the form of shared knowledge, skills and hard-earned wisdom. Most of all, we become living examples of the Chinese proverb: “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.”

Accepting the aging process can be challenging and sometimes frightening, but if we lean closer and listen to what the wisdom years have to offer, our journey can become more joyful. The stories of our seasons can be a wellspring bubbling to the surface in conversations, filling empty cups with empathy, hope and humor. We sit at a table called humanity. Let us create a feast of shared experience.

Here are a few ways to enjoy the riches of the journey:
• Instead of giving a loved one a store-bought gift to mark an important milestone, write a letter filled with practical and loving advice for the road ahead.

• Mentor a younger person or peer. Teach them how to make bread, paint a canvas, start a garden, fix a sink or make a quilt. Pay your passions forward
• Visit a relative or a stranger at a retirement home and ask them to share their stories.

Marlaina Donato is an author, wise-woman mentor and painter. Connect at


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