I was furious Monday when the snow started. Knowing there was nothing to do with my fury that would change the weather didn't help. It felt like a huge and very personal last straw and I'd had it.
But it turns out the anger burned away the last of my waiting for the outside season to change in hopes my inner weather would change as well. While the winter has more often than not reflected the journey of my grieving these last months, it is not my grief. It's not in charge of my grief.
It's a trap I fall into often: I know the outcome I want, and decide it would be much less messy if I could just skip all the parts from here to there. No matter how profound my understanding of the need for and power of process, or how often I experience the magic of a cycle completed, I find myself still deciding it's okay to skip ahead. Or just to wait out whatever discomfort I find myself in until a season passes and something new arrives.
Perhaps the hardest lesson I've had to learn lately is that no matter how careful I am, no matter how perfectly I follow the rules, no matter how patient I am - my soul has its own agenda, and life does, too.
On March 20, Kathleen will still be gone. My heart will still be broken. Spring will arrive with its warm days and abundant light, its vibrant colors and new life. I will embrace it, revel in it, roll around in the moist fertile soil of it (metaphorically anyway). Yet some part of me will still be winter, and I'm beginning to understand may always be.
As has so often been the case on the dark days, when I most need it, someone will offer me the blessing of just the right words and a corner of a warm heart to rest myself in. Often it's been here in the comments of my virtual friends. Often it's been in the gentle persistent presence and concern of flesh and blood family and friends. And every now and then God's voice comes to me in the form of a poem.
The one I'm about to copy below came from a newsletter I receive regularly, which is in itself a great source of blessing. I'm reading it at least once a day, and it helps. I offer it to all of you here, that you might be blessed in your own lives and troubles and broken hearts by its message.
On the day
when the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colors,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the curach (boat) of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
Photo by Walt