When I was a teenager in the 1960s, I became pregnant. In those days, one lived away from home until the baby was born to avoid scandal. Once my daughter was born, I quickly gave her up for adoption.
Although I knew it was the best life decision for both her and me, at the time, it made me sad and depressed.
After I returned to my hometown, I attempted to resume my former life, but things were never the same.
My teenaged-self experienced life with the emotions and maturity of young person but, inside, I struggled with the knowledge I would forever harbor a secret sadness and emptiness because of my decision.
I remember the first time in 1965 when I heard the Byrds’ iconic anthem “Turn! Turn! Turn!” which topped the charts that year (listen here). I listened to it over and over, and it taught me that, if I was lucky enough, there would be many seasons to my life, and that “this too shall pass.” I came to accept in my heart that I had done the right thing.
Few rock & roll hits are rooted in the Old Testament, but this song’s lyrics, set to music in 1959 by Pete Seeger, are based on a passage from Ecclesiastes. They remain as fresh and relevant today as when first conceived by King Solomon nearly 3000 years ago.
Read the lyrics below, and contemplate which season of your life you are currently experiencing. If you’ve been journaling, as I’ve suggested in recent posts, this week try to trace back the arc of your life’s seasons and embrace the now.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.