Sunday, April 20, 2014 last!

It was early February when I first noticed a change in the quality of the light. As the weeks  passed, birdsong grew richer, and the sun began inching a bit further northward each morning as it cleared the horizon.

Daylight savings time arrived, and headlights were suddenly unnecessary on my drive home from work. The Vernal Equinox came and went, and now Easter is here. And I can believe, at last, that spring has arrived. Spring, glorious spring, that time of rebirth and renewal.

The trick with renewal, though, is that it is usually preceded by depletion. And to be reborn, one must suffer a death.

This winter has been particularly challenging for me. Nothing disastrous, but I have often felt depleted, and small, private deaths have come one atop the other. The details are not important, but expectations have shriveled and fallen by the wayside. The illusion that I know what’s best and can control the world around me has perished many times over.

I am quite certain that I’ve not seen the end of my tendency to want life to conform to my wishes. I do feel, though, that a major shift has occurred. This difficult winter seemed a definitive step in the process of slicing away that which is untrue or unnecessary, all that keeps me bound up and resisting the grand sweep of life itself.

So, while this time has been intense, I have not felt~~for long anyway~~victimized by its demands. Each discreet event offered an opportunity to open my heart wider, to trust more deeply, to play more fully my unique part in life’s unfolding.

The word remember literally means to become a member again. I have learned better to remember myself into the eternal flow. I don’t control that flow, nor do I sit passively on the river banks, observing what transpires with detachment. No, I am solidly in it, a part of it, one with it all. I do what’s mine to do, putting my heart and soul into it, and life takes me and those I love where it will.

Life, dazzlingly alive, continually moves us. Our individual stories unfold as night becomes day, and as Earth sweeps us ‘round the seasons. And here we are, brought once again through the darkness of the crucifixion, the sadness of grief. Christ’s example of willing surrender offers a model for how to meet our own travails. And his resurrection brings hope.

Spring doesn’t come without winter, but come it does. Spinach leaves poke through the warming soil of our garden. Trees bud. And from my core, hope sprouts anew. I am lighter from my winter’s work and stand ready to greet what comes.

Wishing you each a delightful spring of rebirth and renewal.    


Loanne Marie                   


Rockey said...

Hi Loanne,

The cliché, 'The only thing certain in life are death and taxes', is true. I have felt the 'sting' of both in my life, as most other folks have, I am sure...

Life is hard; the trick is to live an 'authentic' life. I am currently reading, 'The Death of Ivan Ilych', a short novel by Tolstoy. I have never read any of his works before; I am glad I finally discovered him.

Ivan Ilych is a tragic figure... he did everything 'right' according to society's standards. He wasn't authentic, though. The things he did in life he did because he thought he 'ought to'. Ivan's wife, children, friends, job, house and furnishings, were all what a man 'ought to' have, in his opinion. Then, during his long, agonizing and untimely death, he realized the error in his ways. He mourned because he realized his life had not been 'authentic'.

Thank you, Loanne, for putting 'authentic' thoughts and ideas out there for readers like me; thank you for living an authentic life and taking the time to share with others!

Loanne Marie said...

Thank you so very much, Rockey. You are right, this column was an authentic reporting of a slice of one woman's authentic life. Even though it has been a challenging time, the rewards have been great~~and not just following the depletion and mini~deaths, but in the midst of them. While the joys which wound their way through the difficulties were not the focus of this essay (maybe the next one?), they have been numerous. At the very least, difficulties bring the quiet satisfaction~~which can be a kind of joy~~of doing as life has asked. Though, I think, often it is more than that. If we do as we are asked with an eye to meaning, we are often led to joy while doing the very thing that we might rather avoid. That is often my experience.

Thanks, as always, for reading and for sharing your~~and today, Ivan's~~wisdom.

Sam said...

While I no longer subscribe to the major tenets of Christianity, including a physical resurrection, I am nonetheless so thankful that one of the world's great religions has resurrection at its core -- and I'm especially happy it's the one I grew up in. It seems every day requires a mini-resurrection, a dying to some part of us to make room for new shoots to grow. Overall, I'm with the spinach.

Loanne Marie said...

Well put, Sam. I'm with the spinach, too!

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