“Let your leaves fall and return. Oh darling, the seasons are your friend.”
One of my favorite songs is “Death by Chocolate” by Sia. The lyrics offer reassurance that grief and despair are temporary. They also offer comfort, inviting us to imagine leaning on someone who is there to listen, provide a shoulder, and offer wisdom. “Lay your head in my hands… this is only for right now.… Let your leaves fall and return. Oh darling, the seasons are your friend.”
Sometimes when I experience feelings of being overwhelmed, or helpless, or hopeless, I often turn to the lessons of nature. We can all think of moments wherein we are lost in the enormity of nature. One of nature’s most beautiful and spectacular performances, for me, is the fall season with its bright colors of changing leaves across the blue skies. Fall reminds me that moving through something is possible, yet often not easy. Consider the brilliance in the trust leaves seem to have, bursting brightly at their best, then letting go, and falling. Only, then they return in spring, emerging stronger and greener for another season. I have found this recent fall season to be quite breathtaking and must remind myself to be present in the moment, knowing this stunning moment will soon pass. Embracing the seasons as a reminder of life’s challenges also emphasizes the value of leaning on community. When the world can feel fraught due to uncertainty or unsteadiness, I take solace in connecting within the DePaul community.
Following in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul, we choose to gather together for the sake of the mission. Vincent suggested that in order to do so we must learn to become “full reservoirs in order to let our water spill out without becoming empty, and we must possess the spirit with which we want (others) to be animated, for no one can give what (they do) not have.”
By leaning on one another, may we grow in the capacity to maintain love, respect, and acceptance and find the way to hold onto hope in the changing seasons.
- What ways do you fill your reservoir?
- What ways can you build in time as we near the end of the quarter to reconnect with colleagues who are a part of your support system?
- What sources of wisdom do you draw on to gain greater perspective as you move through the changing seasons of life?
Reflection by: Ellen Fingado, Dean of Students
 Letter 1623, To a Seminary Director, CCD, 4:570, at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vincentian_ebooks/29/.