REFLECTIONS – By MVC Guest Author, Karen Barstow
I look out the window at the last few leaves on the almond trees. As an old almond farmer, I appreciate the seasonal changes for these trees, knowing that each stage is critical in the yearly life of that tree. November to January are necessary periods of cold, grey, foggy weather, a period called “dormancy” when the trees rest before the production of blooms which will become the nuts we harvest in the fall. Without this required period of dormancy, there will be no crop.
The year 2020 has been an unusual season for us. A world-wide pandemic, Covid 19, has stopped all but our most essential activities: volunteering, working out of home, gathering with friends and family, attending church, dining out, etc. creating a sense of isolation for many.
Like the almond trees outside my window, I am in the senior stage of my life. In many ways, this Covid season has been easier for me as a senior as I am not trying to work full time from home while caring for and teaching my children who can’t attend school. This has been a season of forced “dormancy” for me. There is more time to sit, to walk alone in the orchard, to study the scriptures, and simply to reflect on where I am and, frankly, WHO I am at this stage of life’s journey.
While many are severely stressed at the restrictions, I have come to realize that THIS, like EVERYTHING in life, is, in fact, a gift from God. It is a time to listen, to open our hearts and minds to what heavenly messages are being sent. While I am thankful for telephone, snail mail, Facebook, and zoom meetings all which help us connect, the solitude has brought for me an awareness of myself, a sense of peace, an assurance from our loving and merciful God that even with the personal limitations which come with aging, with life circumstances which have limited finances, that I am enough.
In the years which lie ahead, I know HE has a purpose for me though simple it may be. Thank you Lord for this time of dormancy. The tree and I will be ready when you call.