SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
So begins John Keats’ ode To Autumn, the oft-chosen favourite of high school poem reciters. This is due to its great multisensual imagery as well as its accessibility: it’s not too lewd, not too metaphysical, and still a classic poem. I quote it here because it mentions seasons of fruitfulness and how full they seem; so full that you begin to think this is they way things will always be.
When you’re in a season of something, it is easy to imagine it going on indefinitely, whether in good times or bad. The thing is, we are not to know when everything will come to pass, or when seasons begin and end. What we do know is that God has fixed these times for his good reasons, and he changes the times. You may have a season of joblessness, or of loneliness, or of public acclamation, or of deep companionship. The fruit from these times will last, but they are fleeting in light of eternity.
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8)
20 Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22 he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him. (Daniel 2:20-22)