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   Essays by Liah

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Lately, I have been reflecting on how life can teach us to endure difficulties. It is so easy to lose hope and to think that we will always be trapped within the ‘storm’ of life. However, just as there are natural cycles to our weather and seasonal patterns, we can also find these same cycles in our personal growth patterns.

I live in Maui where Mother Nature seems gentle and the weather is pretty idyllic most days. However, I recently visited Northern California where many areas were pummeled with rainy weather for a good part of the winter season. The normally golden rolling hills were radiantly green and the trees were beginning to blossom. After over a month of almost non-stop rain, the rivers were raging and the ground was deeply saturated. Mud was everywhere!

I had begun to lose hope that the rain would ever stop, or that the sun would shine, at least before the end my trip! Then, the day before I left California, the rains stopped, the warm sun came out and the air felt clean and vital. I was even able to go on a four hour trail ride with my daughter!

This was in such stark contrast to the dark, wet, cold days that had ensued just before. During the storm we had been stuck inside the house, completing little projects to add beauty to the home, baking, and reading. I found myself being reminded that there is a harmony to the cycles of nature.

As we stand on the precipice of Spring, take a minute and look within. See if you are in the winter, spring, summer or fall of your growth cycle right now. Perhaps you are prolific and producing a lot. This would mean the fall, or harvest time. Or maybe you are sowing new ideas and generating new visions for the future. This would be the spring cycle.The summer phase is often measured by the continued feeling of growth and expansion of ideas that have been planted and, finally, there is the winter rotation which calls for inner deliberations and deep contemplation, oftentimes coupled with less outward action.

Just as I needed the bright California sun to remind me that the rains will eventually stop, so to must we learn to trust in the cycles of life to lead us where we need to be. Know that hope is always available to us no matter where we are on our path. Looking for signs of spring in our lives can help us to focus on the goodness and new growth to come.

An ancient sage once said “This too shall pass,” and how true that is! For as life continues to expand and contract, so too, do we. Trust the process of spiritual regeneration. The sun will come out again!

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