Changing with the Seasons, Syncing with the Rhythms of Life

Out on the Oregon Coast more and more of the 10-day forecast is occupied by the rain cloud icon. In
just a few weeks Daylight Savings Time will end for the year, and we'll see sunset before the typical work day is over. These environmental changes will impact everyone's natural rhythms in some way or another. The animals and the trees, of course, are even more tied to this. Some birds will leave us, some will show up. Trees will drop leaves. Mating seasons will commence and young ones will be born. Salmon are swimming upstream as we speak. It is the time of year for these sorts of things.

Some of these rhythms are ancient, and go back way before people were even a thing. Some of ours are still new, recently developed during the pandemic. I've thought a lot in the last year about seasons and rhythm changes that reflect seasonal changes. We often stubbornly want to proceed with whatever trajectory we think we should be on and things like light, temperature, precipitation, fatigue, rejuvenation, harvest, storing, or planting are not acceptable reasons to change that speed. Most every living thing on the planet lives very tied to all these rhythms. Not always us.

At Camp Magruder, we recently hosted our last scheduled weekend retreat groups for the year. This follows a rewarding but exhausting summer with so many new practices and adjustments. Summer is always a busy time, mirroring the long daylight we experience. Now the cooler air, earlier darkness, and consistent rain are returning. We ask ourselves what this season should look like in our work. We have enough to do (as always) that we could possibly keep the same pace we've been on. Maybe we would accomplish more. But, would that be the right decision? How much would we have left in the tank at the end of the year? Would we be better when groups return in the Spring? 

We are currently relishing the ability to move slower, to find flexibility in our schedules that wasn't possible in the summer. This is the time to do some necessary maintenance, some reflection, some mending. We are looking at the year behind us and pondering what lessons we'll take from it into the new year. We are working on our bonds with each other, so we will be an even stronger staff next year. It feels right that we would move into a season like this as our environment's season shifts. It feels like we are listening to a voice of something greater than us, trusting its wisdom. 

How are you noticing seasonal shifts in your life? Are you longing to alter your schedules, work, or practices because it feels like a time to make that shift? May you find blessings and the love of the spirit whatever seasons you're observing. 


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