The garden growing season is upon us once more and it reminds me of the cycle of life.
Seeds are planted, nurtured and grow to maturity, then after a time, they begin to wither and die and then the cycle begins all over again.
It all sounds fairly stark, but within the cycle there are usually some amazing things that take place.
The plant will grow at an incredible rate from often the tiniest seed.
I’ve recently planted some candytuft seeds, which were little more than dust to the naked eye.
Within 48 hours they had germinated into seedlings and within a few weeks they will reach their height of 25cm and burst into flower, creating a beautiful display.
Then, after a relatively short space of time they will gradually begin to die – it’s the cycle of life.
That same cycle exists in all aspects of life, including the human race; we too go through a similar process to plants and animals and despite determined efforts of some people to break that cycle – especially death, we are all still unavoidably locked into it.
The life cycle is much more complex than the outline that I gave above because a part of us is constantly dying but we also have the opportunity for new birth, progress and development in our lives.
Someone once advised me to take up a new interest or challenge each year so as to keep my body, mind and spirit active.
It might seem an impossible task but I recently met a man who in his 70s passed his Masters degree in politics - testimony that it is possible to keep progressing, learning and developing throughout our lives, whatever age we might be.
It does, however, mean that we need to rid ourselves of things that are time consuming but irrelevant to create space and opportunity for new growth.
It’s a little bit like pruning or “dead heading” flowers to help make that cycle of life a little bit more fulfilling.
The cycle of life is reminiscent of the birth, life and death of Jesus. His life was relatively short but it was full of action, taking on new challenges; his resurrection proved that death is not the end, it gives us all hope of new life and new beginnings in this world as well as the promise of eternal life in the world to come.