My favourite tree in our garden is the magnolia, as it symbolises the changing seasons so beautifully. I love to see the flowers begin appearing in August, followed by the first green leaves in spring. The cycle of life rolls on throughout every 12 months. In a short time the flowers will have fallen to the ground and a mass of soft green leaves will cover the tree – only to develop fully and then they too will fall to the ground in April.
Just as our magnolia tree reflects the seasons of our calendar, it is also a reminder that our lives too, have seasons. There will be times of grief and there will also be times of celebration, there will be times of exhaustion and times of relaxation, there will be times when we feel competent and times when we feel inadequate. Such are the realities of life. At times there are decisions we can make that help our situation, whilst at other times events are outside of our control.
Throughout every season of our lives there is always something to be thankful for. The love and support of friends during times of grief is a precious gift, as is the sharing of joy when there is a reason to celebrate. In the midst of the various challenges of life, it is reassuring to know that we do not walk it alone, for Jesus’s promise 2000 years ago never to leave his people still stands. So whether we feel like a tree in full bloom or a tree with nothing but bare branches, God is still with us, and that provides both strength and comfort.
Senior School Chaplain