Little drifts of snow cover the ground. The icy earth is corduroyed with frozen foliage; unbroken by green, devoid of color.
This is a hard time. A winter time. A time when emotions cut deep and breathing becomes shallow.
This might be a time, in fact, when hearts wonder if spring will ever come again.
The bulbs and roots and rhyzomes planted over the years lie dormant. It will be months before the center of their being sends tender green shoots toward the light.
Prayers offer small relief, but they do not make the shivering stop. We read moving words by a poet that remind us, “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. "We try, oh we try, to let that belief comfort us with the knowledge that there will be a spring again.
This is a hard time. A winter time. We shiver and wonder and doubt. And spring feels like an impossibility.
How can there be spring when the sunshine is gone? How can there be tender green shoots when we feel like the center of our being has been stolen away?
Time will pass, as it always does, whether we want it to or not.
The days will tick by on the slow-moving hands of the clock of mourning. Winter will linger and we will huddle together against the cold and against the pain of loss. We will clench our fists tightly and hold onto memories too painful to contemplate.
And one day when the sunlight slants down in a particular way, the moisture from our tears mixed with the soothing baptism of warm, spring rains, will announce to the tender bulbs and roots and rhyzomes planted over decades of devotion, that it is time to grow again.
The gentle green shoots will inch skyward and we will watch, carefully, with breath held against the possibility of more pain.
We will wait until the sunshine melts into glorious golden pools of daffodils and forsythia and the clouds drift down into fairy-tale apple blossoms and hyacinths.
We will see these amazing miracles of nature and our eyes may fill with tears. Their perfection may be painful to hearts bruised by memories.
And time will pass, as it always does, whether we want it to or not…
…until one day, we will see the tender green of a spring day, and it will be through new eyes. It will be lovely in a different way. We will tip our heads back toward the sunshine and surround our hearts with the abundant fragrance of bouquets of daffodils and lilacs.
We will release our clenched fists and let the memories of a life well-lived, a family well-loved and a man of honor, integrity and courage float in the water-color sunshine that follows a winter thaw. We will find peace.
I cannot imagine how hard it is right now to look for the light when the dawn is so very dark. Close your eyes. Lean on the love, compassion and prayers surrounding each of you until the day you are able to see the peach and pink of a spring-time dawn ready to warm your heart again.