In This Dry Season

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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

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Nature moves in its own rhythms and cycles. So do we, but we have to be paying attention to notice them.

Join me this week, as we consider the natural order of things, including the order within ourselves. Stay with me.

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For reasons I know, but can’t quite put into words, this summer seems longer, if not hotter, than most. As I ponder, my thoughts turn to the ranchers and plainswomen and homesteaders who settled here long before electricity brought respite from the unrelenting heat. What was it that helped them stand their ground to endure and eventually prosper? What did they do in the heat of the day? How did they spend their evenings when it was still a hundred degrees after the sun had gone down? What gave them hope? How did they keep going?

The answers to those questions notwithstanding, I know from seven decades of experience that the heat of summer will eventually break and give way to fall, that fall will surrender to winter, and winter, in turn, will inevitably succumb to the lively enchantments of spring.

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With that in mind, allow me to begin this week’s consideration with a poem I wrote a few summers ago while I was in the deep shade of a cluster of cathedral oaks on a nearby cattle ranch. Come stand there with me as we look out at the broad and rolling pastures around us. I call the piece, Dry Season.


photo: Scott Lennox


Beyond the incessant droning of the cicadas
whirring above me in the canopy of these oaks,
the earth is parched and hardly anything moves
save for a pair of buzzards languidly wheeling
high in the windless silence a mile away.
Weeks ago, these fields were resplendent.
Native grasses bent waist high in the breeze
and in profusion, Thistles and Fire Wheel,
Indian Paintbrush and Indian Blanket,
Coneflower and Buttercup and Gayfeather
were attended by butterflies and dragonflies,
by wasps and bees and beetles and lacewings,
by wrens and jays and mockingbirds
and a legion of small and tireless workers
that endlessly turn the soil beneath them.
Wandering cattle grazed where it suited them.
But now, in the withering oven of a Texas summer,
the land surrenders to the sun’s insistence
and will slumber ‘til the showers of Spring
awaken it to begin the cycle yet again.

(Dry Season, from Uncollected Poems by Scott Lennox)

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To anyone with an ear to listen, I’ve been pointing to the need for what I call “radical self-care” as loudly and directly as I can. I’m happy to hear that some are taking measures to slow down a bit, and that they are consciously taking stock of their lives and providing themselves with what they truly need from the inside out.

That’s especially relevant now, considering what the world has endured for the past year or so. Added to that, you already know that summer adds its own brand of stressors to the mix, not just here in Texas, but everywhere.

For the past few weeks, increasing numbers of people have been telling me that they are uncharacteristically tired or depressed or anxious. To borrow a metaphor, they also tell me that their personal fuse is a bit shorter or faster-burning than usual. I wonder how much of that is true for you as you read this. And as I wonder, I hope you’re taking elegant care of yourself and doing the things that are best for you, regardless of what anyone else tells you or the demands they place on you. I wrote about that in the last episode.

Consider the cycles of nature and how things slow down when the conditions are not conducive to rapid movement or high productivity. As human beings in this highly technical age, we tend not to honor that pace and keep thundering along. But is that good for us, or do we place far too much stock in haste and “busy-ness?”

Unlike some others I’ve heard from, I don’t find this to be a time for despair, but a time for reassessing and recalibrating what’s important to us in this season, and for allowing the personal adjustments that will foster our own wellbeing. The changes needn’t be large ones to have a meaningful impact. We’ll get to that in a minute.

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A few mornings ago, as I was pulling out some of the plants in my garden that had spent themselves, I thought about the flowers and vegetables I’ll plant for fall and how I might irrigate the beds to help them thrive. Isn’t it amazing that all the garden needs in order to thrive is good soil, sunlight, and water. That’s it! The things they provided through spring and early summer were delightful to the eye and gave me more than enough to share, not to mention healthy meals I’ll remember for a long time.

I’m looking forward to the goodness fall and winter will bring, and beyond that, I’m looking forward to spring and a time of renewal.

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This week’s four Beautiful Questions are about honoring our own seasons and about creating the accommodations we need to help us live well. I invite you to take your time as you consider them.

Question One: Right now, it’s summer and nature is slowing down. What adjustments would be right for you to make to honor your own life just a bit more?

Question Two: Are you getting the rest and the movement, and the alone time and the social engagement you need to support your life?

Question Three: What things would best serve you—day by day—between now and the coming of the next season?

Question Four: What will you do to put those things into your life and keep them there on a daily basis?

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Write and tell me what insights come to you as you ponder. I’m listening.

As I say each week,
My Light with your Light

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Thank you for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing what we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. You’ll also find an archive of all previous podcasts, including episodes three and four, guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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