Change of Seasons

Dr. Honora A. Norton

Dr. Honora A. Norton

When in the midlife of my life it was a change of season—a season of discontent and gradually became a journey towards wholeness—I realized that half of my life was over. It was a time of reflection, acceptance, and discovery, marking changes that affected all aspects of my life and the way I viewed the world. There was a spiritual dimension to all of this that needed to be recognized, understood, and nurtured.

The God in whom I believe is a God who came into my life from the beginning and will be there to the end. He comes as my life unfolds, threading a fruitful seam between seasons. He has and continues to come into the midst of my successes, failures, fears, and comfort. He makes Himself known in moments of grace, love, illness, and loneliness.

It is in the middle of my life that my love for God became refined and the seeds of wisdom were nurtured. I began to surrender control over my life to a greater force than myself. I carry forever the memories of times—when God began in the middle.

A quote from Mother Teresa: “I am only a pencil in God’s hand. God writes through us, and however imperfect instruments we can be, God writes beautifully.” Another from Mother Teresa: “We need to be alone with God, to speak to Him, to listen to him, to ponder his words deep in our hearts to be renewed and transformed … God is the friend of silence. His language is ‘Be still, know that I am God,’” Now that I am in the winter of my life, I appreciate the moments of silence to discover Him. In the silence is when God speaks.

In the winter of my life, I have become a walking history. I have become aware of my senses, change in energy, reorder of my priorities, flexibility, and new growth. I have learned to gracefully let go, listen to my heart, enjoy reflection, and balance “what I did in my life” to “who I am now.” I listen to the inner child and make peace by healing the spirit and old hurts, forgiving, and giving birth to a fruitful spiritual life.

As a Christian going through my seasons of life, my faith has been enriched—not damaged or compromised as I engage in dialogue and even inter-spiritual practice with the wisdom of other faiths through my affiliation with Arizona Interfaith Movement, Catholic Charities, and JustFaith Ministries.

I am drawn to get to know the practitioners of other faiths and the wisdom that drives their beliefs and practices. Indeed, it requires a sense of being grounded in my own faith—but not an aggressive grounding that seeks to make everyone else just like me; on the contrary, I find my identity through God, and not through other people, and so I am able to relate with respect to people, regardless of their identity or faith.

In closing, “There are no mistakes in life—only variations.” This is a wisdom mantra that has gotten me through the seasons of my life, my dialogue with others, and will carry me through the winter of my life.