Do You Accept Change?

Turn, turn, turn

Close-up of 150 year old white rendered stone church with red tin roof.
St Werburgh's Chapel, 70 kms from Evergreen.

Change is everywhere.


My days are packed with changes.


I look through the window and notice the season is changing from summer to autumn. An aging tree, which stood at the bottom of our driveway for a quarter of a century, falls with an almighty crash. It's chainsawed into manageable logs and removed. An old female kangaroo comes down from the coastal hills behind our house and dies peacefully under the fig tree. I look in the mirror and notice I’m changing from middle age to whatever the next man-made category is. In the garden, giant hollyhocks go to seed and rattle in the wind while baby lettuces push out new leaves.


There is a season for everything.


The Australian pop group, The Seekers, who toppled the Beatles off the charts in 1965 with The Carnival is Over, are also known for the song Turn, Turn, Turn. The words remind us that there’s a time for every purpose under heaven. The lyrics are almost a perfect lift from the Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3.


Ecclesiastes 3:5 says A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together. I think of this line of scripture as I walk around the old stones of St. Werburgh’s Chapel, built in the 1870s on a hill in Mt Barker, not far from Evergreen. I touch the walls that have been here for almost 150 years. Once, stones were gathered together to build this place of worship. One day it will be a pile of stones to be cast away, in order to clear a space for something new. Not soon, of course. Perhaps in hundreds of years.


There is a time and season for every purpose under heaven.


Years ago, Mt Barker was surrounded by apple orchards. Now it’s surrounded by vineyards. At the moment the vines are in leaf and fruit. Soon the grapes will be picked, crushed, fermented, and bottled, while the leaves left behind turn brown and fall. The earth will grow cold and still. Pruners will walk the rows. Then a great silence will descend before new leaves form. In time, tiny flowers will emerge and turn, turn, turn, into grapes.


I accept this ceaseless cycle of change.


I settle into it.


A great calmness envelopes me.


With love, Marlane



Original version published on Medium.com/Illumination

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