Anyone who tends a garden knows well Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” As gardeners we arrange our lives around the seasons and each season has a different purpose. In the spring we get everything started.
In the summer and fall, we reap the harvest. From March through August we have “firsts.” First seeds planted, first seedling popping up, first plants in the ground, first lettuce, first peas, first zucchini, first tomato ... A time to plant, a time to be born.
Now that November is nearly on us we’re having a series of “lasts.” We had our last tomato on Friday. Yesterday, our last zucchini. This weekend we’ll have our last lettuce. In a few weeks we’ll pull up what remains in the garden: broccoli, kale, Swiss chard. The ground will be barren all winter. A time to uproot, a time to die.
Two weeks ago, we attended the wedding of our nephew and his beautiful bride. A time to embrace, a time to laugh.
On Tuesday we will attend the funeral of a friend who, at 29, died too young. A time to weep, a time to heal.
I struggled to write a blog entry this week, mourning our dear friend. But I found myself remembering hearing Roger McGuinn from The Byrds sing “Turn Turn Turn” at Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday concert. The lyrics mirror Ecclesiastes 3:1 almost verbatim. It was a hopeful celebration as tens of thousands of us sang together, “To everything – turn, turn, turn; there is a season – turn, turn, turn; and a time to every purpose under heaven.” A time to be silent and a time to speak. And a time to write.