Reflections: And then it is winter!

And then it is winter!
By William L. Bulla

I recently received an e-mail from a friend titled "And then it is winter!" It was not referring to the climate outside or the colder months of the year. It was one of those humorous accounts about many of us moving into our later years of life. The article caused me to think about the years I have lived.
As I reflect on the passing years it seems just like yesterday that I was young. Those were the spring years of my life. I recall those years of my childhood, years in school, my first jobs, and first love affair. Then I entered the summer of my life. Here I was trying to develop a career, get married and create a family. As the family grew, my career expanded, my children graduated from college and I began to think in terms of retirement. I had reached the fall season of life.
Now in later years, my winter years, I have glimpses into the past of how life was back then...of my hopes and dreams. Mine were great years! Others may not have been as blessed as I was. But how did I get here so fast? Where did all the years go? When did my youth become the winter of my life?
I remember all of those older folks through the years. I thought they were many years ahead of me. Where did my youth go? Now I realize that my friends have all grayed and are retired. They, like me, move slower, unlike the vibrant young persons I had known for so many years. Yes, as their hair has grown thinner and grayer, they are beginning to move at a slower pace. Some are in better shape, but others are in worse shape than I.
Some of you may not understand what I am saying because you are still in the spring or summer of your life. But, let me warn you winter is moving in on all of you, and will arrive sooner than you think. So whatever you want to accomplish in your lifetime, I advise you to get to work on it soon. Don't let the winter of your life catch you by surprise. Avoid regrets of not accomplishing all those things you wanted to do, or having done things you should not have done. Life goes by quickly so you must do what you can today, as you can never be sure when your winter may arrive.
Life is a gift to you! There is no promise that you will see all seasons of your life, so it should be lived in a way that you want to be remembered by your friends and loved ones. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after you. Remember, life goes quickly, so do what you can today, as you never know whether this is your winter or not.

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.