My life in four seasons



On my 75th birthday I reflected on the four 25-year seasons of my life:

Spring Planting–years 0-24
child number eight
conceived in Amish love
nourished by family and faith
deeply rooted in Oklahoma soil
transplanted at three to eastern Kansas
emigrating by cross-country train at six
to the garden that is the Shenandoah Valley
and then at 21 off to Eastern Mennonite College

Summer Growth–years 25-49
from deepening roots come shoots
of new life and new love
a growing love of learning at EMU, JMU, AMBS
a love of camping as director at Highland Retreat
a love of teaching at EMHS and Western Mennonite
along with the love of loving the love of my life
my Alma Jean having been wedded to me at 25 and
our bearing family fruit in sons Brad and Brent and
daughter Joanna while also serving
at Zion Mennonite for two soul-stretching decades

Fall Harvest–years 50-74
counseling at Family Life Resource Center
blessed to be a nonsalaried but well rewarded
house church pastor while trying to slow life down
enough to gather ripening insights to put in small baskets
of radio spots and blog posts and other publishings
in hopes they might nourish others as they have nurtured me
meanwhile seeing our offspring launch and grow families of their own
passing on their own lives in life enhancing ways
and oh grandchildren

Winter Reflection–years 75-??
can an old man continue to see visions and dream dreams
will his God-blessed health allow him to pursue
everything that still waits in bucket
wish lists of all he would love to see
happen in his community and family
and in beloved church families
and finally
will he be able to lay himself down to sleep
well content when his time comes
feeling finished and fulfilled
at winter’s end and eager to
welcome eternal spring

Harvey Yoder is a family counselor and teaches parenting and marriage classes at the Family Life Resource Center. Questions relating to family concerns can be addressed to FLRC, 273 Newman Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 or to [email protected] His blog can be followed at


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