Shannon Bardwell: Changing seasons

December 27, 2010 10:54:00 AM

Shannon Bardwell - [email protected]


I was thinking about the new year and how inevitably there will be changes. Sam is reading "The Shack." He shared the part where Mack goes to a broken-down dilapidated shack in wintertime; in 30 seconds the shack transforms into a nice cabin, and it''s springtime.  


In "Everything Matters," Danny Gregory describes his life in Greenwich Village. One day Patti, his wife, was dashing to a photo shoot and fell in front of Subway No. 9; in 30 seconds their lives changed forever.  


When Sam and I married we enjoyed hiking and kayaking, then just 30 days later Sam could hardly walk. He dragged himself to work every day, using a cane, then crutches; then surgery. The doctor called from the operating room: "The problem is more extensive than we thought, and we had to give him morphine." In the days following he lost a lot of weight, his eyes were hollow, and he could barely move.  


I watched Sam at 3 a.m. inch himself around the house and thought, "What if he never gets better; what if he ends up in a wheelchair?" I wasn''t sure that I loved him that much, enough to push him around in a wheelchair forever. But through surgery, disability and recovery something changed; I discovered I loved him that much. 


Gregory tells a story about a couple bound for Italy. They imagine the scenery, the warmth, the food; then their trip takes a detour, and they end up in Holland. They hated it -- it was dismal, cold, and the food was terrible. Then, after a few days they settled in and started liking it.  


Gregory says he and his family were bound for the good life and ended up in the land of disability. We''ve all been there at one time or another; longer in some disabilities than others. 


My neighbor Lenora says changes are like "seasons." This helps me when a change happens that I don''t like, like a friend moves out of my life, or a job ends, or a marriage fails. Everything has a season. Somehow believing that things change like the seasons, it''s easier, as is knowing you won''t stay in this cold winter forever. I''m reminded to enjoy or endure each moment ''cause everything can change in 30 seconds.  


"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot ... a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance ... a time to keep and a time to throw away ... a time to love ... "  


Now, there''s a season that doesn''t change.

Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.