Monday, October 1, 2007

Turn! Turn! Turn!: (To Everything There Is a Season)

Today, October 1, was delightful.
A Monday, the beginning of a new week.
My wife and I had the trail all to ourselves and great, cool weather too.

We did what we did together the day we met.
We hiked.
About four hours worth, just enough to breathe deeply, stretch muscles and feel just tired enough to justify a good dinner at the Duck Brand Cantina & Hotel in Winthrop.
The' Duck' is a favorite place for a lot of people, for a lot of years.

Back to the hike.
Scenery was spectacular!
Mountains, some snow dusted and a few snow capped.
Trees, mostly conifers that were green, but a few golden larches were seen at a distance.
The deciduous trees were turning into the usual Fall colors, reds, yellows and many shades in between.
The sky was mostly blue, with passing cumulus clouds, and the leading edge of what seemed to be a major front struggling to climb the peaks on the horizon to the west.

A few birds and critters too.
But mostly silence, except for whispers of the wind in the foliage.

Just perfect!

For the most part we didn't talk much.
It was mainly a time for reflection.
Thinking back on all the miles we have come, both figuratively and literally.
And the adventures we've had!
What a varied bunch of experiences.

I took special note of the day, October 1.
That means that just over 75% of the year -2007- is already gone.
And, three months from this day, I will have completed my last term in public office.
Now, that was something that was never planned!
The opportunity presented itself, and I was ready for it and fortunate to have been selected.

I'm glad about serving these [almost] nine years, too.
It has been a real learning experience for me, as well as a chance to give back something to the community.
Our community is special, as all communities are in ways to people who live in them.
Community life is a microcosm of America, a part of the fabric of our nation.
One doesn't have to go to Washington, DC to contribute to this country.
Everything that matters is already right here, under our noses!

The turning of the seasons reminded me of that famous song of not so long ago.
My own seasons are turning, too.
At my age, I figure I've now pretty much completed Fall and am entering the Winter of my life.
Even with relatively good health and avoiding accidents, I may have only about 22 or 23 years left at most.
I want whatever years I have before me to continue being good ones.
Ones that are mainly pain-free, and that do not burden others, or financial resources un-necessarily.
I suspect most folks wish things like that, too.

I figure that with a little practice I can get better at being older.
Calm down, don't rush or fret as much.
Lower the blood pressure and the blood sugar.
Take care of my eyes, ears and teeth.
Eat healthier and keep my weight down.
Exercise more regularly, and stay active in things that count.

I know a few people who would say it's about time I grew up!
Been fighting that a long time.
Now's the time.

Kinda like Winston Churchill's famous line about the turning point in WW-II; he didn't know whether it was the beginning of the end, but thought it might be the end of the beginning.
I'm pretty sure that's the right way to think about such things!
From Wikipedia:

"Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)", often abbreviated to "Turn! Turn! Turn!", is a song written and composed by Pete Seeger in the 1950s.
Seeger waited until 1962 to record it, releasing the song on his album The Bitter and The Sweet on Columbia Records.

The lyrics are taken almost verbatim from the King James version of the Bible (Ecclesiastes 3, verses 1–8).
The Biblical text posits there being a time and place for all things: laughter and sorrow, healing and killing, war and peace, and so on.
The lines are open to myriad interpretations, but as a song they are commonly performed as a plea for world peace, with stress on the closing line: "a time for peace, I swear it's not too late," the latter phrase being the only part of the lyric written by Seeger himself.

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!