Every year at this time I bring in some of my orchids. Most of the year they sit on a shelf in our bush house being supported to new growth by humidity and frequent waterings. They love it there but I am the only person who sees them. So it will come as no surprise to you to know that when they burst into flower, the terracotta container is cleaned, a suitable saucer found and they come inside and sit on the kitchen bench. Visitors say how beautiful they are and they are talked about and admired. They last about four weeks, then, as the flowers start dropping, I take them back to the bush house where they sit for another year to wait for the next orchid season.
I used to think it would be wonderful to have orchids in the kitchen all year long but I know now that I would get used to seeing them there very day and after a while wouldn't take much notice of them. They would be part of the ordinary, not a special part of the year; there would be no orchid season. Living to the seasons gives us the chance to experience differences in plants and foods and also in ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to see things with new eyes and to be captivated for a brief second, or day, or month, then to put that thing away for awhile to concentrate on something new. Seasons keep our lives feeling new.
Seasons also give us different tastes at certain times of the year. Yesterday morning I was outside watering the fruit trees and noticed the grape and passionfruit vines starting to put on new leaves. Soon there will be grapes and passionfruit, along with bananas and salad and Mediterranean vegetables like eggplant, capsicums/peppers, cucumbers, chillies and corn - all fruit and vegetables that only grow here in their season. Eating according to the season is wise; most produce is cheaper and fresher in season, and the taste is at its finest.
We have seasons in our lives too. As we grow and mature, there are times when we're really busy, when we're ambitious and work hard for every success, when we have children to raise, when we are the important role models for our children and when we can rest a bit more and enjoy what we've achieved.
Don't rush your seasons. Enjoy what they offer, really take in each smell and taste, watch the changing world around you and enjoy the falling leaves and the rain as much as the sunshine. While your children are growing, make the most of it. This is when you get to build strong bonds with them, to spend time with them, to show your love as much as talking about it, and to guide them towards being the kind of person you hope they'll become. Build for now and for the future. Don't rush it. Complexity takes its own time.
You may be in one of the busy seasons, or in a difficult one, but be assured it will not last forever. We all have seasons that have use-by dates on them, the trick is to make the most of every one of them. Whatever you do now, however tough it is, it will build your life and be part of your future. Because even though you rarely think of these things when you're young, what you do today, is an investment in what will come later. And that can be full and enriched or empty and lonely, or any measure of those in between. You will reap what you sow.
But don't forget to enjoy the raspberries and orchids and asparagus and two year olds and 16 year olds, in their season, along the way. They don't last long.