seasons

There are many seasons in a man’s life - and the more exalted and responsible his position, the more frequently do these seasons recur - when the voice of duty and the dictates of feeling are opposed to each other; and it is only the weak and the wicked who yield that obedience to the selfish impulses of the heart which is due to reason and honor.

Enthusiasm is a virtue rarely to be met with in seasons of calm and unruffled prosperity.—It flourishes in adversity, kindles in the hour of danger, and awakens to deeds of renown.—The terrors of persecution only serve to quicken the energy of its purposes.—It swells in proud integrity, and, great in the purity of its cause, it can scatter defiance amidst hosts of enemies.

There are pauses amidst study, and even pauses of seeming idleness, in which a process goes on which may be likened to the digestion of food. In those seasons of repose, the powers are gathering their strength for new efforts; as land which lies fallow recovers itself for tillage.

An hour's industry will do more to produce cheerfulness, suppress evil humors, and retrieve one's affairs, that a month's moaning. It sweetens enjoyment, and seasons our attainments with a delightful relish.

The grandest operations, both in nature and in grace, are the most silent and imperceptible. The shallow brook babbles in its passage, and is heard by every one; but the coming on of the seasons is silent and unseen. The storm rages and alarms, but its fury is soon exhausted, and its effects are partial and soon remedied; but the dew, though gentle and unheard, is immense in quantity, and the very life of large portions of the earth. And these are pictures of the operations of the grace in the church and in the soul.

Religious faith is not a storm cellar to which men and women can flee for refuge from the storms of life. It is, instead, an inner spiritual strength which enables them to face those storms with hope and serenity. Religious faith has the miraculous power to lift ordinary human beings to greatness in seasons of stress.

Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, and creeds follow one another like the withered leaves of Autumn; but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons and a possession for all eternity.

Patterns and structure. Everywhere we look we see them. What appears random and chaotic also has order. And on Earth much of the order is linked to interrelationships that drive constant change. Cycles and rhythms. Pulses and flows. Changes in magnetic fields. Continental plates moving. Water cycles. Seasons changing. Life and death. Process and connection. Nature flows through webs of structure and shifting time: from ocean to cloud to rain to river to ocean. Natural rhythms.

We must honor the natural rhythms and cycles in our nature. As I look around me, I see the great tapestry of the universe woven with a magnificent ebb and flow. We are told that the entire cosmos is pulsating like our hearts and like the microcosmic atoms vibrating within us. To feel the rhythm of life is to dance to the greatest symphony of all, and to deny its pulse is to miss the essence of all expression. Life is about changes, rhythms, growth, retreat, activity, rest, unfolding, delving inward. And when the seasons of our life have left us with all the teachings they bear, there is but one lesson that remains, every beyond the effect of passing opposites: There is one unchanging life that breathes in and through us, and in which all seasons humbly come to resolution in seasonless Serenity.

We must honor the natural rhythms and cycles in our nature. As I look around me, I see the great tapestry of the universe woven with a magnificent ebb and flow. We are told that the entire cosmos is pulsating like our hearts and like the microcosmic atoms vibrating within us. To feel the rhythm of life is to dance to the greatest symphony of all, and to deny its pulse is to miss the essence of all expression. Life is about changes, rhythms, growth, retreat, activity, rest, unfolding, delving inward. And when the seasons of our life have left us with all the teachings they bear, there is but one lesson that remains, every beyond the effect of passing opposites: There is one unchanging life that breathes in and through us, and in which all seasons humbly come to resolution in seasonless Serenity.

We must honor the natural rhythms and cycles in our nature. As I look around me, I see the great tapestry of the universe woven with a magnificent ebb and flow. We are told that the entire cosmos is pulsating like our hearts and like the microcosmic atoms vibrating within us. To feel the rhythm of life is to dance to the greatest symphony of all, and to deny its pulse is to miss the essence of all expression. Life is about changes, rhythms, growth, retreat, activity, rest, unfolding, delving inward. And when the seasons of our life have left us with all the teachings they bear, there is but one lesson that remains, every beyond the effect of passing opposites: There is one unchanging life that breathes in and through us, and in which all seasons humbly come to resolution in seasonless Serenity.

A wise reserve seasons the aims and matures the means.

In death, there are no rulers above and no subjects below. The course of the four seasons is unknown; our life is eternal. Even a king among men can experience no greater happiness than is ours… If I could restore your body to you, renew your bones and your flesh and take you back to your parents, your wife, and children and old friends, would you not gladly accept my offers?… Why should I throw away a happiness greater than a king’s to once again thrust myself into the troubles and anxieties of mankind?

Because anarchism is in its essence an anti-dogmatic and unstructured cluster of related attitudes, which does not depend for its existence on any enduring organization, it can flourish when circumstances are favourable and then, like a desert plant, lie dormant for seasons and even for years, waiting for the rains that will make it burgeon. Unlike an ordinary political faith, in which the church-party becomes the vehicle of the dogma, it does not need a movement to carry it forward.

Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop.

The essence of conscious living is to act according to aspirations, to strive for ends which we set for ourselves. The human will is blind and can never by its own power envision the ends of our actions. Ideals grasped by the mind in history’s rare hours of spiritual insight are like sparks of orientation, glittering before our will during the long seasons of obscurity.

In the medicine of species, disease has, as a birthright, forms and seasons that are alien to the space of societies. There is a ‘savage’ nature of disease that is both its true nature and its most obedient course: alone, free of intervention, without medical artifice, it reveals the ordered, almost vegetal nervure of its essence.

I am interested in the way that we look at a given landscape and take possession of it in our blood and brain. None of us lives apart from the land entirely; such an isolation is unimaginable. If we are to realize and maintain our humanity, we must come to a moral comprehension of earth and air as it is perceived in the long turn of seasons and of years.

We wasters of sorrows! How we stare away into sad endurance beyond them, trying to foresee their end! Whereas they are nothing else than our winter foliage, our sombre evergreen, one of the seasons of our interior year.

We have unintentionally, begun to disturb massive planetary systems that have kept much of the world climate relatively hospitable to civilisation for the last 10,000 years. We are heating the deep oceans, which leads to more frequent and intense El Niño weather patterns. The time of the seasons is noticeably altered and most of the Earth’s glaciers are retreating at accelerating rates. The potential effects are catastrophic. They include the drowning of coastal cities and whole island nations, as a result of rising sea levels and intensified storms; the proliferation of disease-spreading insects into new regions, resulting in cases of malaria perhaps doubling in tropical regions and increasing 100-fold elsewhere; and the loss of forests and wildlife that depend upon a stable climate, leading to vastly increased extinction rates and the collapse of entire ecosystems.