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The August of Life

August 21, 2012

Posted in: Passion, Performance, Place, Promise, Purpose

dry parched earth in August

In the early part of last May, I walked my almost two acre yard spreading gypsum over it, trying to deliver to it something that will help it finally get up and flourish.  It’s never been easy here, the topsoil over years mostly washed to the lower meadow, and we planted a yard in what seemed like a clay highway, hard, stubborn, mean clay, that blocks food and water, a lawn bully, taking what is rightfully belonging to my yard and keeping it for itself.  I hate it.  But as I walked across the yard on that early May evening, pushing a spreader, I was struck by this fact: Spring is easy for growth. Everything, including my yard was, at that moment, vibrant, growing, flourishing, the water table was high from plenty of snow, the temp was cool, there was little stress.  Life is kind of like that for many of us when we first start out.  Work career, enterprise, relationships are easy, there’s plenty of food and water and the stressful heat of the day is a long way off.  Growing is easy in springtime.

But what about later in season?

What about life in mid-summer, when the sky refuses rain, when the weeds that thrive in stress take over, when the clay bakes what little is left of my precious, drought stricken yard?

How many of us feel as if we’re in mid-summer? The heat of the season, the demands of work, of kids, of cash, of spouses and bosses pull every last drop of resources you had earlier in the season, and now, it’s an overwhelming patch of weeds that strangle and choke. And you, like the earth in August – is exhausted, spent with nothing left. Especially when the season of heat hits your own life is when you think you’re baked. The hopes of the spring of your life or your career are long gone. But, what if there could be robust growth in late July, maybe August both literally and figuratively?  Both for my yard, and for many of us, in our lives?  Youth can still be seen in the distance, and we’re not quite where we thought we should be, feeling a bit like the yard in mid summer, shot.  Out of water.  But what if there was a renewal, a new season that revived, stimulated, feed and nourished your soul, it is more than possible.  It is real, it is there and it’s waiting for you to receive that encouragement that slakes the dying thirst.  Millions of us are slogging through our own “late July” withering, drying up, emotionally, spiritually and financially parched.  We are seduced by a mirage, looking at someone else’s life from a distance, seeing what appears to be our salvation, only to drink the sand.  Does not have to be that way, my friend. You know your passions, you know it, yet you keep pushing it under, it’s there, right in front of you and it is real.  That thing you were hoping for, that vision you once had?  Look at it again. Take it back out of storage.  What is it that moves you? Pick it back up, feel it water your soul like soft rain on the hard clay yard, softening, reviving, restoring, and rejuvenating. Look inside yourself, remember, and don’t dismiss it.  It’s part of you, and you were created for it.  Start.  Write down those things that have moved you, that make you come alive. Perhaps a memory, perhaps a scene in a movie, a time when you were asked to help with something or what you without prompting step up to do.  We discount it all the time, thinking it trivial, but it’s not, otherwise, no one would be asking you for what it is that you have. Talent, creativity, teaching, listening, organizing, computing or helping.

You may think it’s mid season, but actually, it is the first day of a new spring.  It only needs you to make it so.

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