As the year rushes towards its end here in the mountains of my home, changes are everywhere. The sunlight suddenly seems scarce. The blue skies are more gray. The leaves have fallen and the trees are bare. The grass has gone yellow and snow will be coming soon.

The winds have turned bitter making my coat a necessity. Inside my home it is time for thick socks and warm sweaters. Hot soups have replaced sandwiches for lunch and oven roasts heat the whole house as they cook for dinner. I look forward to reading my books with the warmth and comfort of my furry dog napping on my feet and my purring cat sitting on my lap. Christmas carols are playing on the radio and I find myself softly singing along. As I gaze out my kitchen window, though, I know that a long Winter still lies ahead of me and that it will be months before the world warms again and I see the first flowers of Spring.

Yet, amidst all of these bittersweet changes I am not sad. I know that all the seasons of life have changes that we must go through. Some of them are pleasant and some of them are tough.

Some of them bring us instant joy and others force our souls to grow. All of them call on us to love. It is only when we love that we can fully enjoy the green grass and new flowers of Spring.

It is only when we love that we can overcome the darkness and cold of Winter.

Throughout your life here you will be faced with countless changes. Know in your heart that God is with you through them all. God loves you through them all. God is helping you to use every single one of them to travel closer to Heaven. Meet each new change that comes your way with a loving heart then. Meet each new change with a soul full of compassion. Meet each new change by loving more, learning more, caring more, giving more, and helping others more. Life is full of changes, but you can make them changes for the better.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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