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Seeds, Seasons, Sunshine

I was driving home one wintry day, along winding roads, and around me the hills were dry and the cattle miserable. The branches of trees were starved of leaves, and in place of luscious green canopies that usually hung overhead these winding roads was an exposed grey sky. In that moment, I craved the spring blossoms: pink, green, yellow—the colours of life. In that moment, I imagined the warmth of the sun on my face, the fresh billowy breeze. In that moment, I craved to see the leaves turn red, orange, yellow, like the embers of fire, and wanted to watch them fall; at least that was, still, a sign of life...

That not everything was yet dead.

Pink flowers blossoming in Spring.

But as my eyes took in my surroundings—the dry hilltops, the lifeless trees, the dying grasses—I began to see everything in a new light, too. I began to reflect on what this wintry landscape symbolised, and all the seasons that came before. It is this: the fragility of life, and of happiness. “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind,” wrote George Santayana once, “than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” I admire this quote for two reasons. The first is it alludes to the fact that seeking eternal happiness and prosperity will actually achieve the opposite (happiness must give way to sadness, and other feelings, and prosperity must give way to poverty before it can replenish itself again). We cannot eternally hope for the flowers to blossom and bring us joy forever. The second is in order to grow, we need to embrace changes in life and relinquish our control of it to the One who is in control. In other words, we may plant the seed, give it water, sunlight, and care, but we cannot, by our own doing, will that seed to blossom. As the Qur’an (56: 63-65) reminds us: “And have you seen that [seed] which you sow? Is it you who makes it grow or are We the grower? If We willed, We could make it [dry] debris and you would remain in wonder.”

The seasons are here to teach us a valuable lesson: all things in life must come and go, must die to renew, must shed its leaves before it could flower.

And so, too, must we.

Until next time,

A signature.


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