A wise metaphor

“Seasons” is a wise metaphor for the movement of life, I think.

It suggests that life is neither a battlefield nor a game of chance but something infinitely richer, more promising, more real. The notion that our lives are like the eternal cycle of the seasons does not deny the struggle or the joy, the loss or the gain, the darkness or the light, but encourages us to embrace it all — and to find in all of it opportunities for growth.

Parker Palmer, From Language to Life

The circles of the seasons

Within the circles of our lives
we dance the circles of the years,

the circles of the seasons
within the circles of the years,
the cycles of the moon
within the circles of the seasons,
the circles of our reasons
within the cycles of the moon.


Again, again we come and go,
changed, changing. Hands
join, unjoin in love and fear,
grief and joy. The circles turn,
each giving into each, into all.
Only music keeps us here,


each by all the others held.
In the hold of hands and eyes
we turn in pairs, that joining
joining each to all again.


And then we turn aside, alone,
out of the sunlight gone


into the darker circles of return.

Wendell Berry

Autumn

And to die, 

which is letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,

is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down
into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvellously calm,
is pleased to be carriedeach moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.

Rilke

All flows through us

The sublime peace of the Tao [is] something we can all experience by . . . coming into accord with how things actually are—what Tibetan Buddhists call the natural state. Rather than trying to build skyscrapers to reach heaven and bridges to cross the raging river of samsara to reach the so-called other shore of nirvana, we could realize that it all flows right through us right now and there’s nowhere to go, nothing to get, and all is perfect as it is. This deep inner knowing has a lot to do with trust and letting be; there is nirvanic peace in things just as they are.

Lama Surya Das in Derek Lin, Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained