Tuesday, September 22, 2009



To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to lose and a time to seek,
a time to rend and a time to sew,
a time to keep silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There are seasons in our lives, as there are seasons in nature. That's why I love this psalm from Ecclesiastes. It moved The Byrds to write “Turn,Turn,Turn.” It has inspired Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul and Mary, and many other artists. For those of us who are more spiritual than religious, it makes sense of good and evil, life and death, war and peace. It leavens harmony and discord. It unites eternal dualisms.

This is the time for me to be in Ukraine. I'm not sure why; it just is.

When I am missing my children and grandchildren and all those I love back in the States, which is often, I wonder about this time. I could be home in St. Petersburg, Florida, teaching, in my comfort zone. I could be having dinner with my friend Sandie, or listening to the wry and irreverent political analysis of Christopher. I could be going to meetings with Debi, Pat and Doris, going to a movie with Sue. I could be visiting my brother and sister, my niece and her family,and friends in Tallahassee, or going up North to visit cousins in New York, North Carolina and New England, or up to Toledo Ohio, to spend time with my daughters and grandkids, and great-grandson Philip.

But here I am, in a small village in far-eastern Ukraine, closer to Russia than to Europe, closer to strangers than family.
I am experiencing the autumn of Ukraine rather than the autumn of New England. I'm picking pumpkins in Natalia's garden (above), not buying them at Publix. I will see the first snowfall of winter in Starobilsk rather than in Toledo.

There is a time for every purpose under the sun. At this time in my life, as I approach a new decade, I am making new friends, learning new things, living in a foreign land. Summer has turned to Fall. The seasons are changing. I am changing with them. To everything there is a season.

No comments:

Post a Comment