Light Dawns...I am uncom- fortable with the title. This week has felt anything but light--it has been both dark and heavy; and yet those words, and the evidence of light, continue to leap out at me, if not from me. And besides, it isn't Lent yet, and the light isn't supposed to come until Easter. What will I write at Easter, if light is dawning now? Everything is out of sync. I try in vain to come up with something to write about that makes more sense to me. When I wake this morning I realize that this is what it is going to have to be. So here I go to see if I can discover what I am supposed to learn about light in the dark.
The long days are over, so I will miss the sunrise until daylight saving time begins and the morning ride is again at dawn briefly; and the purple light show is done until next winter when the daylight ends early. But something else happens on West Street this week as I drive to work on Wednesday. A slumbering revelation erupts from a place deep enough within me that I have been able to ignore it until now. Tears well up as I realize that I am on my way to a place that has defined my life for nearly ten years, and been an anchor when everything else changed--several times--and I don't want to be there anymore. It disturbs me. It feels dark and scary and very heavy. I don't know what is happening to me. One of those times that a therapy conversation would probably be helpful! And I consider it. (Therapist friend, be on alert. I am aware that people read this blog who will be concerned about my revealing of that thought; but I have vowed to myself to use this space with integrity. And that is where I am this week.)
This weekend, speaking of ripping, I take out the last two bushes in front of my house to prepare for the roses I want to plant. Roses scare me. Some things I read say they are high maintenance. Some rose growers I know say the same. Other say rose-growing scare stories are over-rated; just enjoy them. And my neighbors, whose roses were planted by the woman who renovated the house, do absolutely nothing in their yard (which drives me and my loppers insane) and the roses look great. I thought of roses when I read this yesterday, "We must jump into the unknown to gain insight." (Nicoletta Baumeister) I know nothing about roses, but I am reading and listening to the words of people who do. Roses, life changing decisions, we have to just jump. Not off tall buildings, necessarily. Not without a parachute, necessarily. But jumping with a ball and chain attached to our ankles would not be a good idea. And the anchors that center us can become that when we resist change. Fear of change creates darkness; letting the fear come to light brings tears; and tears, one-by-one break the links of the chain that holds the anchor that tethers us to the known and comfortable before it becomes a deadweight.
As I push a chunk of sadness aside, to make room for the beauty of the morning, I am surprised at how heavy it is. Other things are heavy: carrying a nine plus pound baby in utero (twice); and then heavier ones in my arms. Hiking mountain trails toting a backpack with supplies for a week. A wheelbarrow loaded with bricks. When we can’t carry them anymore, we set them down. And, in fact, we can’t fully enjoy the baby until we put down the weight and give birth; we can't get what we need out of the backpack until we put it down; we can't use the bricks to create beauty until we move them to the spot of the creation. I can't plant pansies until I pull impatiens and I can't plant roses until I dig out the shrubs and ready the soil. Preparation requires heavy lifting.
The tears I have shed this week over past, current, and anticipated sadness drop away that early morning on my deck; and tears are for the beauty that is in my world. How confusing that beauty (and clarity) can permeate the dark, even though it doesn't always remove it. It was a full moon week. Light and dark co-existing. There is nothing confusing about that. Why am I befuddled when I feel simultaneous joy and sadness within myself? That same friend who posted the quote about tears sent me a text some weeks ago that I wrote down: "Sometimes the sun just wants to make sure we're paying attention, so she sneaks into the day." (Vickie Leigh) The light sneaks into the dark. And without the dark, can there be light? I anticipate a life change in the not imminent, but not-too-far off future; I am preparing. This time it will not be a forced change and I don't know what that looks like. I think it looks like this. Fully enjoying all that makes me happy right here and now; and living in it. Planting roses for someone else to enjoy. At the same time link by link removing the chain that holds the once-comfortable anchor, shedding tears for sadness and for beauty--yes, at the same time--and beginning a letting go bit by bit. As the plants gain strength under ground, so do I. And Easter or not, they bloom when they are ready.
5 years ago