Labour Day 2015 was as hot and sultry as high summer. Yet, in the shade of our magnolia tree, I sat on our small north easterly deck, listening to the chatter of leaves in the soft breeze, and smiling at the irony that Labour Day, being a holiday, gave me permission to do nothing at all. 

I did it--nothing, that is. I simply leaned back into my bright blue resin Adirondack chair and thought for a while as the cars on the nearby highway zoomed by as though in another world.

For me, this Labour Day was the first in 41 years that didn't precede a paid workday. So I had the freedom, now, to choose how to spend my time and hadn't stopped thanking God for that privilege several times each day.

The past year had been intense and busy. So much so that I found I couldn't write, even though there was so much to write about. At the end of each day, I had little energy, let alone time, so I focused instead on surviving the stress of my husband, Paul's heart attack; trying to "end well," at a career I loved; and fulfilling a dream to travel to Europe with three teenaged granddaughters.

Here I was, at last, having caught my breath, embarking on a whole new adventure that felt like "school let out" and "back to school" all at once!

I found myself with time: for investing in relationships in a more profound way; to develop the craft of writing and more skill in photography; time for building spiritual muscle; to pray; to exercise my physical body; to read; to have space for God's agenda.

None of us knows how much time we have, but it felt like the greatest of riches to have more as I started this new life chapter. I was so grateful to have broken the writing ice at last!

In a nearby church parking lot stood a row of yellow school buses. Shiny and clean, they had numbers prominently displayed on their front windows; their seats awaited a new season's batch of young students. I felt I joined them in this thing—school.

It's almost six and a half years since that Labour Day when I contemplated and celebrated a new season. The past year has been a new season of a different kind, refining and clarifying focus, with the greater wisdom of more limited time ahead. I've reflected and dug deep to ask myself hard questions in the past year: What do I want? How will I manage to achieve it? Then I found answers and took steps forward. The result has been new growth and sound change.

It never stops this adventure of life and learning. 


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