On Cycles.

Firstly — apologies that this has been a ghost site for most of this year. I haven’t changed anything or updated anything on here since January, for a number of reasons.

Earlier in the year, I was focussed on doing a recording of the album Shine The Light, the third in the series. I had a group of musicians who were willing to help out — though I still had a couple of instruments missing — and a couple of spaces I could potentially use to record in. I started recording some scratch tracks, and getting ideas for how the tracks would sound with a band. I actually planned to have some brass in there as well! As you do.

But then — well, I had to go and meet someone, didn’t I? And it’s been going rather better than anything before this. By at least a few orders of magnitude. So that’s taken up — well, most of my free time. I had an attempt at just doing a livestream performance of the songs over on Facebook, but I wasn’t able to even keep that up.

Which is rather annoying for me, on one level. Because I was rather wanting to release one of these albums each year — but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. I don’t know exactly when it will; but I’ll make sure it happens on some level at some point. Because these are stories and songs that need to be shared.

But all this has gotten me thinking more and more about cycles, and how many of them there are.

When I first started these albums, I had the idea of four cores, core ideas or parts of identity, intrinsic parts to who we are created to be, and who God is. Life, Love, Light, and Truth. And these are thought of in the manner of a cycle — interwoven, each one connected and feeding into the others. That’s why I represented the logo in that way, as you can see below.

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The colours were fairly obvious. Green, the colour of life; red, of love; yellow, of light (I could have done white, I suppose, but yellow felt better); deciding on the right colour for truth was trickier, but the connection of purple with royalty, and the idea of truth being the words of God as King, resonated on some level.

Then I also had a fairly clear idea early on to relate the four cores to the four elements; air, earth, fire, and water. But which would be which?

I had previously connected love to fire, but I saw quickly that the connection between light and fire was much stronger. Particularly as I was looking at light as the outworking of what is within, and in the same way, the fire is built up because of the fuel, the oxygen, the spark.
And so love obviously connected to water; that which is deep, and vast, but also wild. Life comes from it, and is within it, and cannot be without it. Water is also incredible in both its strength and softness; as is love.
Truth was evidently rock, or earth; the solid foundation, that was beneath all other things.
And life was air; that is everywhere, but so easy to miss, or forget about. But without it, we are dead. Constantly moving, flowing, free and unfettered.

But then, I realised there was another cycle that linked into the four cores, that I’ve been understanding more and more deeply over the years — the four seasons.

Life is spring. (Of course!) Spring is all about new life, new growth, what is green and coming out. It’s full of vibrancy, colour, and a fresh spirit and excitement for the warmer times.
Love is summer. Summer is a time of working, of heat — and, in case you didn’t know, love is a verb! It’s a doing word, and summer is the time for doing. That’s very much what God wants our love to be like.
Light is autumn. Autumn is the time of harvest, when all the work of summer comes to fruition. In the same way, light is the outward working of the life and love that we have within. Autumn is a time of plenty, of rejoicing, of blessing.
Truth is winter. Winter is a time of stripping back, of laying bare, of rest — and sometimes, harshness and sorrow. In the same way, truth is when we go to the foundations; nothing fancy, it’s the simple truth. And there are times that truth can be difficult. But it is still important, and necessary.

You may not realise this, but each of the seasons are present in our life as well. In all of the different areas of our life, too. Work, relationships, family, school or university — as well as an overarching season across our year in general. I’ve recently been realising that albums that I’m listening to can often reflect a particular season that artist was in. I’ve been hearing a couple of winter ones lately — the latest ones from Hawk Nelson and For King And Country are both winter albums, I think.

And understanding these cycles, I think, is so crucial to living our lives. Because often, we try to make things rigid. Unchanging. And yet, that’s not how life is. Life is constantly changing — but often, in these cycles. So there is change, but also familiarity. It’s a bit of a gift from God, in that way, so we don’t have too much of either. But often, for instance, we try to rush through winter, or hang around too long in spring or autumn. We don’t realise the importance of the cycle, the need we have as part of our life to live out naturally each season, each part of the cycle.

That’s what I’m feeling now. I’m in a spring year at the moment; my last spring year was when I started these albums, and was the best year of my life up to that point. I think this one is going to be in pretty close contest with it! But there are other parts of my life in different seasons — and so perhaps, my songwriting is in a winter season, so there is space for this relationship to be in spring, and move into summer. I don’t really know. I just make my best guesses out of what I can see, and work with that.

But it’s something that I thought I would take some time to reflect on today; so I hope there’s something in that which can be useful for you.