The four season of life
As I sit on the back patio watching this summer morning’s sunrise, I can only marvel over the radiant rays breaking through the leaves in the forest setting aglow the warm brown fur of a doe and its two fawns. A hummingbird buzzes by and hovers over a bell shaped blossom sucking out the sweet nectar. A couple of Monarchs and a Swallowtail fluttering around the assortment of flowers stretching their blossoms towards the sun while a Praying Mantis bathes in the dew covered grass. Rogers and Hammerstein’s music comes to my mind. Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day. Soon, the minutes, filled with the hustle and bustle of the day, flees one by one until the beauty of the sunset will complete the day. Then the days will flee into the seasons and the seasons into the years.
Having reached the tail end of life’s autumn, I can’t help but to reflect on the seasons gone by. The spring of my life was filled with discoveries. In the beginning they were like snowdrops pushing through the snow searching for sunshine. The love of my parents and grandparents protected my life.
But, like every child, I also had to discover fear. Only this fear needed someone stronger than my parents or grandparents to shelter me. When the bombs started falling leaving only rubble and fire behind, I learned how to truly pray. Oh yes, our Heavenly Father has the power to shield. We survived those fearful years. In the midst of all this, I discovered the worldly mysteries that could only be unlocked through study and hard work.
As I got older, I discovered that the no good for nothing girls had actually a beauty and quality worth exploring. I was told that the tingling down my spine was called, Infatuation; but, I thought it to be love. I was positive that I could not go through life without the girl of my dreams. However, it was not to be. When I was twenty-two, my parents decided to take the whole family, my brother and me, and immigrate to the good old US of A, for he thought, rightfully so, that we could carve out a better life there than in the old country. A whole new discovery lay ahead of me. Adventures and young, the idea was exciding. I was making headway learning a new language and hoped to be able to use the new knowledge to discover the American girls.
But, Uncle Sam had other ideas. After thirteen month in the new country, I received the dreaded letter, “Uncle Sam Wants You.” I was drafted into the Army. After basic training in Ft. Jackson, and engineer training in Ft. Leonard Wood, I was shipped to Heilbronn Germany to serve my time with the 237th Combat Engineer battalion. This was not something that was in my plans. But, the Lord must have had it all figured out. In his chess game, he moved me over three thousand miles away to another country, only to end up five hundred miles away from my hometown in Germany where I found the love of my life. And believe me, the Lord Almighty did play a chess game. Besides sending me around the world to end up in Heilbronn, he maneuvered my soon to be discovered love’s family to escape from East Germany into West Berlin. From there, He moved them into Heilbronn. But, He didn’t stop there.
Actually, there was no reason for our path to cross. But, in God’s wisdom, He found a way. I joined a battalion soccer team. Due to the severe training, eight hours a day playing soccer, we won the group championship. We arranged to have a party at the stadium’s banquet hall. When I left the garrison to walk to the stadium, a teammate talked me into accompanying him to pick up his date. To accomplish that, he held out carrot. “Maybe she can talk her girlfriend into coming as your date,” he said. It was a shot at a blind date. I never had a blind date before and didn’t know what to expect. And she did convince her girlfriend to risk a blind date with yours truly. When I laid eyes on my blind date, I fell head over heels in love. Cupid had hit its mark. And so started the first tier of love, the Eros love. (Eros is Greek, and a liberal interpretation is infatuation) Every time I thought of her, or saw her, the tingling on my spine ran all the way down to my toes. That first date was on the end of September. We got engaged on Christmas, (Three month later) and married in June. (Nine month after our first date) And so started my life’s summer season.
The second tier of love, Philio, (another Greek word meaning I give what I get) set in quickly. But we never lost the first tear. And if you work hard at it, as we did, tier number three, Agape, (Another Greek word for the true love) bonded us. But, and there is always a but, we had to work at it daily to sustain it. Our love grew deeper and deeper and was rewarded with the birth of our first son eleven month later. We were elated. I had a job I loved (Not one that paid a lot of money) and a son to carry on the name. Two years later, our love bore a little girl. Now we had the million dollar family, a son to carry on the name and a daughter to enchant our hearts. Four years after that, we were rewarded with another little boy. Our little family had grown, and so had our love for each other. All appeared to be well. I changed my job, and with it grew my paycheck.
Just like nature, dark clouds move in and the rain falls, but it makes the flowers grow. And so did our tears. We grew some more and with it did our love.
Toward the later part of the summer in my life, I achieved the height of my career. God had bestowed a full cornucopia of blessings on us. But the clock ticked away the minutes and autumn arrived with all its colorful splendor. This time we were blessed with two lovely granddaughters, and a handsome grandson. Our greatest joy has been, seeing them grow up. Grand parenting is another reward bestowed upon us by the Lord.
I retired after a fifty year career and picked up writing. Now that I stand on the threshold of the winter in my life, I can look back on the family our love created, a successful career established by hard work, and hopefully my four novels will propel me into a second career. I don’t see winter as a cold, inhospitable season, but I rather see its beauty that turns the landscape into a winter wonderland formed by a layer of fresh snow sparkling in the sunlight. Yes, life provides the seasons, and love the sunshine.
Al Lohn, author of
Take a look at what my writer friends, The Rebel Writers, dreamed up for your summer reading pleasure.
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