Cycle of life
There's a rule of thumb in photography; for best pictures, i.e. Best color saturation, take photos before 10 am and after 4 pm.
If you peruse my photos you'll notice that the majority are of dawn's early light and sunsets. And so it is with life. There is no doubt that the birth of new life, whether human, animal, or plant is a beautiful thing. The end of a life's cycle may not be seen as quite so beautiful. Yet as I watch sunset after sunset with reverence, I wonder should I try to find the beauty in a life's end?
Every spring I'm happy to watch the rebirth of nature after a winter of dormancy. The full maturation of life in summer brings many hours of delight. Autumn is overwhelmingly my favorite time in the cycle; when the fulfillment of that maturation is on vibrant display. Even pastoral scenes in winter entrance me, and give recognition to rest and renew; take on new energy.
To be sure, if the deepest of winter and it's soberest days suddenly came upon us in the middle of summer, I would be shocked and saddened to see the cycle interrupted. Just as I am when a late frost kills the apple blossoms or I find robin egg broken and empty on the ground under it's nest. Nature continuously gives us signs that life as we know it is impermanent. But she also gives us hope, and faith when the overall cycle repeats itself. The apple tree will bloom again next year, the robin will lay more eggs.
Perhaps we can celebrate the end of life by reflecting on the the beauty of what will come after us; the children and grand children who will succeed us and live their lives by the examples we taught them.
As we celebrate, in the darkest days of winter, the birth of Jesus Christ let us resolve to set the best example of a life well lived in each of it's seasons. And whenever our Easter comes we can rejoice, not only for what we leave behind but what lies ahead.