It’s spring in some places now. And in some places, it will be winter for another couple of weeks (months?). Somewhere the tulips are beginning to push through the soft earth and somewhere the birds are returning to sing. Somewhere the air is warmer, the breezes more gentle, the land begins to awaken from a frozen sleep. The trees are beginning to bud and even the air smells fresh and clean. Somewhere windows are open and the sound of the vacuum can be heard, marking the beginning of spring cleaning… a ritual was given to us long before our forefathers set sail for a new world. Somewhere the last holiday decoration is being packed away (those holiday diehards!) and somewhere a lawn mower is being readied for a new season.
As spring approaches, we begin to shed our overcoats and stand in front of the mirror… examining the body for the extra lumps we’ve accumulated during the hibernation season. We lace up our jogging shoes and make our way to the sidewalks, high school tracks and to the gym, eager to strip away the added inches that came because it was dark and gloomy and food seemed to soothe and comfort during the dark days of winter. Somewhere someone is planning a wedding, a graduation, a family reunion.
Vacation brochures begin to appear and plans are discussed in anticipation of summer.
Spring is the reawakening season… the great wake up call for the earth. Somewhere, someone is answering that get up call… greeting the new season with vim, vigor, and vitality. There are smiles and renewed energy and hope seems to simply float on the softened air. Somewhere… all of that is occurring, but not within me. It’s still snowing inside my being. It’s still winter inside here and there aren’t any tulips about to burst open in my spirit. I’ve still got my snow boots on and the sun hasn’t quite made it to my world. It’s still winter inside me… I wonder if spring will ever come.
Oh, there have been moments of spring in the past. Wonderful, warm fleeting moments; moments when I “forgot” about the pain, the emptiness, the despair, the grief. Moments when the world was right side up and the music made me dance. But they were only moments and I’m waiting for spring to arrive in me.
Hope… the major ingredient in spring, seems to elude my grasp. Just when I think there might be some hope, a memory comes creeping across my soul and it’s winter again in my heart. It’s this lack of hope that seems especially cruel during springtime. I thought this winter inside me would end and I was looking forward to a more peaceful time in my life. I thought we would settle down, plant a garden and live our life filled with memories and the opportunity to make new ones. HA! I thought grief would end at some point. The books all say it will… everyone else looks like their grief has subsided… how come spring missed us?!
A season without hope is the ultimate in despair and I’ve spent too many such seasons. Where does hope go and how do I get it back?
Hope is that elusive something that keeps us moving, even in the dark. We are only powerless when we have no hope, no vision, no faith in our own abilities. We may be helpless at times. We may question the arrival of spring but we are only truly powerless when we have no hope, no dreams…
Don’t lose the hope! Search for it! Fight for it! Demand its return. Hope changes as we do and it can be so disguised that we may not recognize it, but it can be found — in the moments of our memories. We probably won’t ever have totally happy lives again… We probably didn’t have that kind of life anyway; we just thought we did.
Don’t let death rob you of the moments of joy still to be remembered, and found. Don’t let grief rob you of those spring places where love and joy live forever in the heart. Somewhere it is spring… Deal with the anger, the guilt, the depression as it comes and then let it go as you can… so there is room for joy to come again. Let hope come in… it’s spring.
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