A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil?
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
(Ecclesiastes 3)

It’s mid-May!
2023 is almost half way through and it still feels like January.
And, at the same time, it feels like this year has been seventeen years long!

While I have sat pretty still, people have been coming and going through my little city at such a rate that it has been an endless tapestry of beautiful energy, laughter and adventures.
The world around me has transformed through an assortment of blossoms and endless landscapes of luminous greens and ocean blues.
And, as the days get warmer, the landscape’s shades have bloomed and browned and new colours have filled the cliffs of Lagos and the Algarve.

Summer is coming and soon the tourists will own our streets.
And while I don’t want to let Spring go (in Portugal, we get it earlier than the rest of Europe so we are already a way in), I am reminded about how we need ALL the seasons.

I spent years chasing Summer. I know how much energy we get from sunshine. And how simple life feels when everyone is in the happy zone of vitamin D zen.

After five(+) years of endless Summer, I had my first Autumn in 2018. It felt cold and miserable.
In all fairness, October was not the best time to start cycling North. But once I opened my eyes, I saw the beauty in the red hued leaves that lined the cycle paths of Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Morning coffees were appreciated so much more than they had been. Hugs got even nicer. And I recognised how maybe there was something I needed to learn from this season too.

The first winter was hellish. (Even more so because I permitted myself to work in a freezer in a fish factory). But as more winters have come, I have learned that even though I need to adjust my clothing and prepare for exposure to the elements, there is so much importance in this season too. It’s a season of reflection. A season of fires. Early bed times. The warm feelings that come from creating cosy spaces with friends. The slower pace of life. Choosing more inside time. Snow!

And spring.
The season where people stumble out of hibernation. The season where the flowers sing God’s exquisiteness. The time of year where joy seems to rebound from person to person and travel like a plague infecting everyone as they are licked by rays of sunshine.
It’s a season for throwing away the things that no longer serve us.
A season for fresh starts.

We need all the seasons to grow naturally.
It’s easy to not want to let go of chapters in our lives, but that is the only way that we move forward!

Chuck Palahniuk said:
“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.”
And while I do believe that God does much more than that, I like to think we owe it to God to relish this life He has blessed us with.

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