I grew up hearing the phrase, “the seasons of life” and I never put much thought into its meaning until now. At fifty seven I am not my mother’s peer nor am I the peer of my grown daughters. The birth of my great niece Lucy and a recent family gathering painted a lovely picture of the seasons and each of us belonged to one of them. Children aged nine months to sixteen years of age wandered among us and it was so very clear that they represented spring. From the freshly diapered and sweet smelling infant to my young teen-aged grandson, they were blooming, coming into themselves and no one who was present knew just what fruits would develop and mature in the lives of these spring chicks. I looked at my grown nieces and daughters, late twenties to late thirties is the span of their years on this earth and they were the “summer” in my mental picture. Vibrate and sure of themselves, they shone like the summer sun. This is their “growing season” as they mature in their careers, relationships and plant roots for the future. My gaze falls upon my parents who are both seventy six and in relatively good health. They are the “winter” in my internal picture of the seasons. This is the time in their lives were they have hunkered down and have made themselves comfortable, summers up north with the family and winters in the south. They realize that they have more days behind them than they do before them, but contentment appears to be part of this season of theirs. This leaves me; I am the autumn in the family portrait. This is my harvest time. My children and grandchildren are the fruits and labors of my life. I now “reap what I have sown.” Each season has a purpose and if we are blessed, we will embrace each one that we are fortunate to enter. I may envy the vitality of the little “srings” that were running around and wonder what alternative “summer” I might have lived if I had chosen a different path, but those seasons are in the past, they are gone and belong to a another generation. I am “autumn” my leaves (hair) is changing colors but my harvest has been fruitful and plenty. I will slow down and walk through this season, taking in all it has to offer because “winter” will come soon enough, if I am so blessed.