December 4, 2012

The Seasons Of Our Lives


A Very Special Message

A dear friend of mine, who I am proud to consider a brother in my heart, lost his mother last year to illness. During her life she wrote some amazing and wonderful bits of prose, but none more moving than the following essay. I am reprinting it here with permission of her family, and I hope you are all as deeply touched by it's truth and ephemeral beauty as I am.

The Seasons of Our Lives
by Launa Janousek.

     Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. In the spring, seeds can be planted in the rich earth that has been melted from its icy winter hardness into a receptive and fertile field. In the spring, we feel the surge of new life, the urge perhaps, to begin new projects and relationships, or to see the old ones in new light. After the long, dark, cold winter, we feel the hope and promise of warmer days, as the earth readies itself for the celebration of summer and the coming to fruition of all that has been carefully and lovingly sown.
    Summer is a time of ripening, of coming to fruition. All the energies of the universe now favor abundance. The days are long and warm, the nights rich with all the fragrances of the earth. The seed that was planted in the spring comes to term in the summer; the heat of the sun alternates with the softness of the rain to bring the earth to its apex of fulfillment. Summer is also the time of relaxation and appreciation; it is the traditional vacation season, when we put aside our duties and cares to make room for rest and rejuvenation. At the end of the summer, we taste the satisfaction of the fruits of our labors, as what we have put our energy and faith into can now be realized.

   Autumn is the season of harvest. As such, it is tinged with a bittersweet quality, for it involves both maturity and decline. Traditionally, harvest time is a  time of gathering of both crops and people, all come together in joy and goodwill to help one another pick the fruits of the earth and share in the bounty. But even as we rejoice in the gifts and beauty of fall, we are aware that the glorious colors of the changing leaves have already begun to fade. The dusk is coming sooner, the air growing colder. So autumn contains both joy and urgency as we harvest and we store, making the necessary preparations that will give us sustenance during the long winter nights ahead.
   Winter is the season of reflection and challenge. In the rhythm of natural cycles, it corresponds to that part of us that must conserve our resources, draw inwards, and allow ideas and situations to hibernate and awaken in their own time. Winter is a time of opposing forces that teach us beauty through harshness. The cold both chills and invigorates us. The snow and ice can be fierce in their fury or breathtaking in their pristine purity. The long hours of darkness make us yearn for the day, while appreciating the stillness of the night, the warmth of the evening fire. Through winter we learn the art of patience and the joy of discovering new inner strengths, as we wait for new growth to emerge.
   As human beings, we need to stop and look at the trees through the seasons of our lives. Trees are magical and spiritual symbols. The tree of life and the tree of knowledge are bridges between heaven and earth with the branches reaching high to the heavens and the roots traveling deep within the earth. Without trees, life on earth would be barren and uninhabitable. Trees filter our air; the roots secure the topsoil we grow our food in; we use trees to build our homes; trees to shade us from the hot sun and provide windbreaks; we burn trees for fuel to cook with and keep us warm, and many foods, medicines and countless other useful items that we take for granted come from trees. Do you remember, or have you ever noticed how you or other children are naturally drawn to play in or around trees?
   Trees have guardian spirits, and we can learn many things from sitting quietly near a tree and communicating with its energy. Find a tree that you enjoy, stand back so that it is in full view and take your eyes to the top of the tree, admiring the space where heaven meets earth. Then look at the details of the tree, the beauty of its branches, the strength of its roots. Trees can teach us about strength, dignity, peace and giving.
   There is a season for us all, for the time to go. Death comes not in terror but in gentleness, and always on time. Death is a part of the natural process and everything has its allotted time on earth.
   If you have faced the loss of someone dear to you, imagine this was or is that person's time to go. It is the right time, the perfect time. The best way to send your loved one on is to release them in peace and total trust to the expertise of the angels. Accept the timing of the universe in death as well as in life.

A Legacy Of Love 

Launa was a very amazing woman. Though I never got to meet her, she left a big impression on many people's lives, and her spirit lives on, not only in her written words, but in her family.  She passed along her sense of wonder and beauty, and helped to create one of the nicest, and most deeply caring men I have ever known ... Her son Jeff.

Jeff and his better-half, Sharmell, have been a vital and important part of my life, and the lives of my children and grandchildren for more years than I can count. They were both present when my youngest daughter was born, and have been uncle and aunt to my kids their whole lives. They have been beside us through the good times and the bad, and I feel blessed to count them as family ... I love you guys, and will owe you more than I could ever repay, as long as I live.

As I write this, in the autumn of my own life, I am looking at the tree outside my window with a new appreciation.  As I watch the raindrops fall from its moss covered branches, I feel as if a little bit of Launa is with me, and that the trees are crying for her passing as well. Thank you, sweet lady, for sharing your beautiful view of this trip we all make through the seasons of life.

<dedicated to Launa Janousek and her family>

This message for us all was reprinted here by permission and with love,

From Grandpa's Heart ...


  1. Dusty~
    This is so wonderful!!!
    Thank you so much!!!
    Everytime I read this it reminds me how beautiful she was and how much I love and miss her!
    We have helped raise eachother, our children and our furry kids and I wouldn't want it any other way!
    This season to shall pass but know that Jeff and I love you and we are here for you, sitting under our favorite tree, admiring it's beauty.
    Love always,

  2. i didnt know what you meant when you were talking about a close friend whose mother died but then i new that it was jeff and his mother when i saw the picture. thank you and i love you grandpa