Friday, August 22, 2014

The Four Seasons

            “You wouldn’t know it by Texas, Mother,” said Alfred, “but there are four seasons; winter, spring, summer, fall. That’s four seasons and I love them all.”

            “What are you getting at Alfred?” said Mother.

            “It’s that letter we received from Jeremy and Winifred yesterday. We have reached our seniority, a winter of sorts, and Winnie is going to have a baby, a very different sort of springtime. You know that I have been thinking of retirement for some time now. Jeremy’s letter brings things into a much sharper focus.”

            Mother put down her copy of The New Yorker and looked thoughtfully at Alfred. “Alfred,” said she. “Jeremy has accepted a new job as a Vice President of Summoner’s Insurance in Boston, and Winnie has been offered an Associate Professorship in Literature at a college on the North Shore. Jeremy, Winnie, and the new baby, are going to be a long way from us for a considerable length of time. It would be a shame to miss seeing our new grandchild growing up.”

            “Quite, right, Mother. Quite right!” said Alfred, “If you are thinking what I am thinking, it would be a tremendous change.”

            “Moving, Alfred? Moving!” said Mother. “I dread the prospect, but on the other hand Boston is where we both went to college, and where we met, and where we were married and began our life together.”

            “Mother,” said Alfred. “Let’s take a walk in the garden and talk a little more."

            Mother and Alfred walked down the path from the Solarium and looked around the garden. Alfred asked, “Mother do you remember the poem I wrote last summer?”

In the garden where I love to go
I see the hollyhocks all planted in a row,
Peach and apple blossom, hyacinth and golden bell,
The Lily of the Valley, the greater celandine and daffodil.
But nothing can compare with God’s great beauty rare
In this wild profusion of His glory, a sight beyond compare.
Come walk with me a little, while the gentle breezes blow
And share with me the beauty of His garden here below.

            “Even in the shimmering heat of summer, the garden is lovely still,” said Alfred.

            “I know, Alfred. I know!” said Mother, “But winter comes to all gardens, and after every winter it is spring again. If spring happens in another garden far away, what have we to fear? Alfred,” said she, “I love my garden, but I love my family more.”

            “Well, Mother,” said Alfred. “Let us pray together about it and see what further God might say to our hearts.”

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” [1 John 4:7-8].  

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