In the previous article in this series, we discussed the autumn season of human life.
Winter Sets In
As humans move from the autumn season of life into winter, they like plants, become more frail. Like the stalk weakening, adults in this season of life must work harder to maintain their strength. The wrinkles and scars of life become more readily apparent as the days go by. And, keeping the aches and pains at bay becomes a greater task.
As time goes on, those in the winter of their life require more assistance from those in the summer and autumn seasons of life. Tasks that they could easily do a few years ago become more challenging. Some of them give in easily allowing and even welcoming care by others. However, some elders fight this process every step of the way determined to maintain their independence as long as possible.
Although many people remain quite active through most of the winter season, most are retired and have more time to themselves than they have ever had. It is during these quieter days that many adults in the winter season reminisce about the other seasons of life. Having experienced each season, they have a good understanding of what the younger generations are experiencing.
Some of them are quite satisfied with their experiences and happy to be where they are today while others long for the previous seasons of life. Others focus on their regrets of what they did not do when they had the opportunity. They may also have a feeling of loss as their family lives their own lives and their friends begin to slip away.
As the winter season proceeds, it often is like the reversal of spring. In the winter season, the person often becomes more and more dependent on others for assistance. The quality of life for those in the winter season can be sustained longer, minimizing the dependence on assistance, with consistent nurturing.
As a society, we have forgotten the value of the elders. In years gone by, elders would have lived with their children, a grandchild, or a niece/nephew as they aged. The elder would have been integrated into the family and called upon for their wisdom and knowledge. Today, these elders tend to live on their own as long as possible. Eventually, they are moved to facilities where their care and nurturing are primarily provided by staff rather than family.
In conclusion, having relationships with others who are in different seasons of their lives enriches a person’s life. Likewise, nurturing others, even if they don’t think they need it, will make the life experiences better for everyone involved.