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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

seasons

I tend to think of my life in terms of my disease. I am either pre-parkinson's disease or smack dab in the middle of it. And within the reality of parkinson's disease in my life, there are seasons.
There are seasons in the lives of all humans that parallel the seasons of earth. In particular, I am thinking of winter. It is a cold and lifeless period in which plants are dormant. The amount of light in winter, as compared to the amount of light during the summer, is substantially reduced. The temperature is cold and often below freezing. There might be a cold rain shower or ice with snow, and clouds seem to be common on a cold winter's day.

Nothing seems to grow much during these short days and long nights. In fact, many plants lose their leaves or die back so that there is no sight of them above the ground. There may be only a root buried deep within the soil, where once there had been a lush green plant. Had you not seen it with your own eyes, you would not know that it had existed. There is no visual clue; no evidence pointing to the continuance of that life - now hidden in the earth.

This plant, now reduced to a root, has stored within itself all the nutrients it will need to see it through the winter months. It will not grow or produce, but merely survive. Before it will again send shoots towards the sun it will wait until the required amounts of darkness, moisture, and frigid temperatures have been reached. Only then will it burst forth, growing, budding, and branching.

The plant performs photosynthesis to supply itself with energy. It will provide the atmosphere with oxygen, and may itself become food for other creatures. Perhaps it will flower, eventually producing fruit.

People seem to go through cycles of productivity and growth alternating with nonproductive times. When we are not producing - indeed seem hopeless and useless to all the world - we may become discouaraged and lose heart, believing ourselves to be failures or misfits. We may show absolutely no promise of future usefulness. There may only be ugliness on my outward frame - like the pale unshapely root that lies beneath the ground.

Perhaps I am afflicted with poverty or sickness. Maybe I am the victim of another's crime, or I am left alone without family or friends.

I may be struggling to grow, but to no avail. Day after day I face the same problems and never reach a solution. It seems as though nothing goes my way anymore. I'm not able to contribute to the world around me in any way. And where is my Lord? He is hidden from me just as the sun is from the root. I cannot sense His presence at all. There is only darkness and silence. My prayers for relief go unanswered. Nothing changes. I am using up all my reserves. There is almost nothing left inside of me to keep me going. Death is near.....

It is here at this point, I see and comprehend this law of life - that no state will remain forever! After the winter, comes the spring and summer! Darkness is followed by light. Dormancy is prelude to growth. Death gives way to birth.

However painful the state of my life may be today, I can look forward - with assurance - to the changing of the seasons. It is an established fact - an unchangeable law.

When all requirements have been met (the right amount of wet, cold darkness) I will again grow and produce.

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