Words for Wednesday: Progression

You know how it goes – you take one step forward and it seems like you end up two steps backward.

Just this past weekend, we who live in places that adhere to Daylight Savings Time turned our clocks back one hour. The old mantra for these time changes is “spring forward, fall backward.”

But really, who wants to go back in time? Go back to high school days? Not on your life, if you ask me. Perhaps there is a time you’d like to return to so you could rectify a wrong or make a different decision. We all have instances in our lives that we regret, but that’s how we learn – from our mistakes.

Or maybe you’d like to step backwards in time to relive those joyous events in life, those happenings that made you so very happy. I can understand that desire for time travel, but what lessons would we learn if all our days were pleasant and blissful?

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” ~ Frederick Douglass

For the most part though, I think human beings like to move forward. Make progress. Not dwell on the past but look ahead to the future.

These thoughts came to mind during one of my early morning walks taken with my husband, the Papa of this empty nest. We walked along on a crisp autumn morning discussing current events which included subjects like politics and the pandemic.

In both cases, it doesn’t seem like our society makes much progress. Politics is still an ugly subject causing people to become angry and close-minded when someone doesn’t agree with their stance.

And here we are nine months into pandemic mode still under the thumb of a virus that prevents us from moving forward into normalcy of life.

Progress? It certainly doesn’t seem like it.

As I weighed these thoughts in my mind while walking along fallen autumn leaf-covered sidewalks, I couldn’t help but notice all the varying kinds of leaves. Maple, oak, birch, sycamore, beech, poplar, elm, and chestnut.

If someone desired to gather an assortment of different fall leaves, it would make a nice project, I thought. And then I began noticing the variations of color even in the same type of leaves.

Here, a dark maroon red and there a crimson red. I stopped and picked them up. There a leaf turning russet. Here a golden yellow. And even there, one still green with no signs yet of changing colors.

I gathered all five leaves, carried them during the rest of my walk, and took them home with me.

“It will make an interesting photograph,” I told Papa.

And then as visual pictures often provide ideas in my mind, one word popped into my mind. Progression. What better visual example of progression than the stages of autumn changing colors in those leaves?

Life goes on. Seasons come and go. The brilliantly colored leaves of autumn have fallen and we will progress into the winter season – actually we had our first dusting of snow just this past Monday. One season following another.

Life is like the seasons. This season of strife – warring politics and a restricting pandemic – is just another aspect of life as we make our way into the future. And it is for that future we must hope.

We must never give up hope even as we face hardships and difficult times. We hope for better outcomes, we cling to hope as we progress into tomorrow no matter the struggles we endure today.  Sacrifice and suffering serve a purpose, to make us stronger than before.

 “As we progress along our path, our experiences help us to define our own character. ~ Richard Allan Krieger

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