Lemons on blue glass dish


I gaze out the ranch-sliders to the little grove of lemon trees, scanning the sharp leaves and hard green fruit, hoping to find one that is ripe.

Early winter is approaching here, and it’s too soon for lemons. But I have a cold and am longing for a lemon drink.

Longing can arise in any season. 



I lie here, immersed in a madrigal of memories. I see my mother bringing her potent paste of honey and undiluted lemon juice, and remember her confidence that small sips of lemon and honey would always soothe an inflamed throat.

And then I hear a sound. My father is approaching, with his specialty, a lemon drink in a glass. He always knew how to add love to an action, sometimes with a chuckle or a joke, and in this case in a different way.

I can still hear the teaspoon tinkling inside the glass as he walks down the hall towards my room. A bright bell of hope is being delivered right to my thirsty lips and parched throat.

Longing lives in the seasons of the heart.


And now?

My parents are long departed and the lemons are green.
Except for one. It’s just turning yellow, and juts out at the top of the tree. It will be hard to reach.

The sun draws me out. Sun has a way of saying ‘you can do it!’ I reach the tree and manage to steer my hand through the spiky twigs. I grasp and break off the lemon.

The lemon drink is soothing. I drink it gladly.


Then I realise that something is missing: it’s the tinkling, the love.


Do you have seasons of longing, for something that
eludes you?


How can you satisfy such longing?


You might like to try these three steps:

1. Write down what you want. (In my case, it was lemons)
2. Go deeper and imagine what you really need. (For me it was comfort and love)
3. Ask yourself, ‘How can I meet that need?’ – even imperfectly.

I couldn’t magic up the presence of someone who would care for me on this day, but I could supply the love through remembering and writing, letting the memories trickle through and tinkle into my heart. I could sing madrigals of mothering and cantatas of compassion to myself.

I could gently doze, while listening to the song of the tui floating above the dry sound of wind in the leaves. I could sip the comfort of ‘This too shall pass.’ And then I could pick up my pen and slowly write to you, my tribe of seasonal observers, and celebrate this, my 100th newsletter.



Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all
living beings;
Radiating kindness
over the entire world.

—The Buddha

This post is an excerpt from the Seasons Newsletter. To receive the Seasons Newsletter, you may sign up on the home page of this website and receive a free audio meditation.