Some wise and creative people have thought about this topic of our souls, gardens and seasons. I feature their thoughts on this page. If you come across a quote that would fit with the themes on this site, share it with me using the comment feature. Thanks!
Winter – Madame Jeanne Guyon (1648-1717), a French woman of faith
As cold comes on the wings of a winter storm, the trees gradually begin to lose their leaves. The green is so changed into a funeral brown; soon the leaves fall away and die. Behold the tree’s appearance now! It looks stripped and desolate. Behold the loss of summer’s beautiful garment. What happens as you look upon that poor tree? You see a revelation.
Under all the beautiful leaves there had been all sorts of irregularities and defects. The defects had been invisible because of the beautiful leaves. Now those defects are startlingly revealed! The tree is no longer beautiful in its surface appearance. But has the tree actually changed? Not at all. Everything is exactly as it was before. Everything is as it has always been! It is just that the leaves are no longer there to hide what is real. The beauty of the outward life of the leaves had only hidden what had always been present.
The same is true of you. The same is true of all believers. We can each looks so beautiful … until life disappears! Then, no matter who, the Christian is revealed as full of defects. As the Lord works on you to produce purification, you will appear stripped of all your virtues! But, in the tree, there is life inside; and, as the tree, you are not actually becoming worse, you are simply seeing yourself for what you really are! Know that somewhere deep within the tree of winter there is still the life that produced last spring’s beautiful leaves.
The Beauty of Autumn – by Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey
“The autumn leaves can dazzle us with their magnificent colors: deep red, purple, yellow, gold, bronze, in countless variations and combinations. Then, shortly after having shown their unspeakable beauty, they fall to the ground and die. The barren trees remind us that winter is near. Likewise, the autumn of life has the potential to be very colourful: wisdom, humour, care, patience, and joy may bloom splendidly just before we die. As we look at the barren trees and remember those who have died, let us be grateful for the beauty we saw in them and wait hopefully for a new spring.”
Brian Jacques, from Taggerung:
“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.”