Best Season of Your Life

 

“Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.” ~ Wumen Haikai (1183-1260)

Have we made life unnecessarily complicated? Sometimes our lives have been taken out of our hands, and we struggle to get back to that place called peace. Back to the place where we have if not control, at least choice. Peace is not just a hangover from the hippie days of yore: imagined for some; reality for others. It is the thing we strive for no matter our age or walk of life.

I am not necessarily talking the language of the 60’s where “Peace, man”  was the de rigeur phrase of the day, but I no longer deride the movement as I may have back then. In 1975 I had an English professor who wore a brown leather belt with a buckle that depicted a large silver peace sign. Every day. He taught semantics (and to this day I am not sure what I learned). But I remember thinking at the time that he was passé—clinging to something whose time had passed. I have now come to the realization that though the topic he taught was unbearably boring (to me) he wore his belief, if not on his sleeve, at least on his belt. And that is admirable. He was willing to put himself into a niche and stay there.

But does the eternal search for peace, or its many derivatives—calm, quiet, harmony, serenity, goodwill, and of course the end of war, have a time limit? I think not. Back in the 12th and 13th century, Wumen Haikai (originator of the above quote) believed in peace as the thing that unclouded the mind, the thing that burst through unnecessary things to the realization of “the best season of your life.”

And just what is “the best season of your life”? I am of the theory that right now is the best season, because it is the only one we’ve got. Sure we have past memories—some good and some bad, and we have the future, which is uncertain at best–and worst. As with most humans I have a suitcase full to brimming of issues, troubles, and worries. But I also have a backpack full of wisdom learned, coping mechanisms, and things that ease my troubled mind. And it is from that backpack that I find some peace. Not all the time. But sometimes. And while I would like my suitcase to be flung from a ship sailing at sea, or a plane flying over the horizon, I wonder if I would enjoy the moments of peace without the discord.

At this point in my life I would like to think that I no longer need the contrast between peace and discord in order to discern one from the other. But lessons learned sometimes need refreshing. Christian McEwen in “A Day So Happy” sums up how I feel quite succinctly. He says:

“It seems possible to me that our culture of speed and confusion, busyness and overwhelm, has reached just such a state, and that the time has come for the quick double-flip of transformation, from greed to gratitude, from isolation and depression to community and calm.”

Gratitude is a trendy word oft-cited today and one that I, for one, am getting tired of. Yes, I know I should be thankful for the things I have—appreciate them and be happy that I am not out on the street pushing around a shopping cart with all my belongings. On the other hand, perhaps I should not grow tired of this trend, but instead embrace it and use it. I think that so often we become tired of something when we are reminded of it too often. But if you think about it, does gratitude ever really go out of style? And if we take the time to enjoy the flowers of spring, the autumn moon, the cool breeze in summer, and the snow in winter—tangibles that are available to all of us, are we not taking part in the best season of our lives?

Peace, man. High five. Cheers. Fist bump.

Thanks.

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Published in: on June 6, 2016 at 11:02 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow…
    Reading this has put me in a more peaceful state.
    I think we are all at peace (mind, heart, soul) by default, which should make it possible to find our way back.

    Loved this.
    Thank you!

  2. Loved reading this!

  3. Gratitude, like Peace, is an inner state in my experience. Neither ever goes out of style! xoxoM

  4. Wonderful post, LouAnn. Living in the now with gratitude is way to go. 🙂

  5. Good thoughts Lou Ann… Sometimes we strive so; to find peace, that inevitably it escapes us. Better like you say to embrace the moment….accept that our lives won’t be without struggles! Diane

  6. right on sister


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